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Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, and of the Hebrew Language 
in Bowdoin College. 






District Clerk's Office. 

Be it remembered, that on the 4th ilay of January, A. D. 1823, and in the forty-seventh year 
of the Independence of the United States of America, Thomas C. Upham, of the said dis- 
trict, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Propri- 
etor, in the words following, to wit: " Jahn's Biblical Archaeology, translated from the Latin, 
with additions and corrections, By Thomas C. Upham, A. M. Assistant Teacher of Hebrew and 
Greek in the Theological Seminary, Andover." In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the 
United States, entitled, " An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies 
of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times 
therein mentioned :" and also to an Act entitled, " An Act supplementary to an Aet, en- 
titled, An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts 
and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned; 
and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and 
other prints." Tnmv w n* vies S Clerk of the District 

jumi\ w.uavis I of Massachusetts. 



This Translation, of which a second edition is now offered 
to the public, was undertaken at the suggestion and desire of 
Professor Stuart of the Theological Seminary at Andover ; 
and was first published at that place in February of 1823. For 
the encouragement and aid, which Professor Stuart afforded 
him in this undertaking, and for the assistance, which he receiv- 
ed in various ways from other gentlemen of the Theological Sem- 
inary, with which the Translator was at that time connected as 
an assistant instructer, he embraces this opportunity to repeat his 
grateful acknowledgements. 

The author of the original work is Dr. John Jahn, who was 
formerly Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Vi- 
enna. It was at first written in the German Language, and ex- 
tended through five octavo volumes. Being of such extent, and 
accompanied with numerous plates, it was found too expensive 
for common use, and after numerous solicitations to that effect, 
was abridged by the author himself, translated into Latin, and 
printed in a single octavo volume. The Translation into En- 
glish, which is now presented to the public, is made from the se- 
cond edition of the Latin Abridgment, printed at Vienna in 1814. 

The Translator, in fulfilling his task, has constantly had be- 
fore him the original German Edition, and it is proper for him 
to remark, that where he noticed an observation in the German 
which seemed to be important, and which promised to instruct 
and interest the English reader, but which, nevertheless, was not 
in the Latin, he has ventured in a considerable number of instan- 



ces, to translate and insert it. In doing this, he has considerably 
increased the labour and responsibility, which devolved upon him, 
but it is believed the work has thereby been rendered more valua- 
ble. It is hardly necessary to remark that, in order to learn the 
additions and alterations, and the grounds on which they have been 
made, it will be found important to compare the translation with the 
German, as well as with the Latin. 

The notes, which have been occasionally inserted, and the 
extracts, which, in order to render some articles more complete, 
than they would otherwise have been, it has been thought, proper 
to insert, are distinguished from the text of Jahn, by being enclos- 
ed with brackets. Many errors in the references have been correc- 
ted ; and in the present edition the reader will find a full and valua- 
ble Index of the passages referred to. 

For this Index the translator here acknowledges his obliga- 
tions to the interest taken in this work by Mr. Smith Travers 
of the City of Washington. It was made out with much care 
and labour by Mr. Travers soon after the publication of the 
first edition, and is now with pleasure presented to the reader 
with only a few alterations from his copy. Other minor improve- 
ments will be found in this edition ; and it is confidently hoped that 
the work will be found in all respects a valuable assistant to the 
biblical student in acquiring a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. 


Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Me. 
November 30, 1827. 



1. Biblical Archaeology. 

2. Its importance to a Theologian. 

3. The sources of Biblical Archaeology. 



4. Biblical Geography. 

5. Aramea. 

6. Phenicia. 

7. Media. 

8. Persia, Susiana, Elymais. 

9. Babylonia, Chaldea. 

10. Arabia. 

11. Egypt. 

12. Gessen or Goshen, and the river of Egypt. 

13. Extent and boundaries of the Hebrew terri- 


14. Face of the country, Mountains. 

15. Plains. 

16. Forests. 

17. Deserts. 

18. The Jordan, Lake Merom, and Gennesareth. 

19. The Dead Sea. 

20. Other Rivers. 

21. On the climate of Palestine. 

22. Fertility of the soil. 

23. Calamities to which Palestine is subject. 

24. Division of Palestine among the Israelites. 

25. Division of Palestine in the time of Christ. 


26. The earliest shelters were shady trees and 


27. The more recent Troglodytes or dwellers in 


28. Tabernacles. 

29. On Tents. 

30. Formation of Tents. 

31. Internal structure of Tents. 

32. Houses. 

33. Size of Houses. 

34. Form and roof of Houses. 

35. The Gate, Porch, Area or open court, female 


36. Chambers and other Apartments. 

37. Doors, and methods of securing them. 

38. Windows. 

39. Materials for building. 

40. Household furniture and utensils. 

41. Villages, Towns, Cities. 

chap. nr. 


42. Antiquity &c of the Nomades. 

43. Of Pastures. 

44. Emigrations of the Nomades. 

45. Fountains and cisterns. 

46. Flocks of the Nomades. 

47. Animals of the Ox kind. 

48. Of Asses and Mules. 


49. Camels. 

50. Horses. 

51. Dogs. 

52. Of Hunting. 

53. Of robberies committed on Travellers. 


54. Its value and importance. 

55. Laws of Moses in regard to Agriculture. 

56. Estimation in which Agriculture was held. 

57. Means of increasing Fertility. 

58. Different kinds of Grain. 

59. Instruments of Agriculture. 

60. Animals used in Agriculture. 

61. Preparation of the Land. 

62. Harvest. 

63. Threshing Floor. 

64. Threshing. 

65. Ventilation. 

66. Of Vines and Vineyards. 

67. Situation and arrangement of Vineyards. 

68. Culture of Vineyards. 

69. Vintage and Winepress. 

70. Gardens. 

71. Of Olive-Trees 

72. The Fig-Tree. 

73. The Pomegranate. 

74. The Balsam. 

75. The Palm. 

76. Terebinths and Pistacias. 

77. Bees and Honey. 

78. Fishing. 

79. The fallow Year. 


80. On the Origin of the Arts. 

81. State of the Arts from the Deluge till Moses. 

82. The Arts among the Hebrews in the time of 


83. Arts among the Hebrews in Palestine. 

84. State of the Arts after the Captivity. 

85. Antiquity of the Art of Writing. 

86. The extension of Alphabetical Writing. 

87. Materials and Instruments of Writing. 

88. Respecting Books. 

89. Of Epistles. 

90. On Poetry. 

91. Character of the Hebrew Poetry. 

92. On Music. 

93. Uses of Music among the Hebrews. 

94. Stringed Instruments. 

95. Wind Instruments. 

96. Different sorts of Drums. 

97. On Dancing. 


98. The origin of the Sciences. 

I 99. History, Genealogy, and Chronology. 
; 100. Arithmetic, Mathematics, Astronomy, and 




101. Division of Day and Night. 

102. Of Weeks. 

J 03. Of the Months and the Year. 

104. Surveying, Mechanic Arts, and Geography. 

105. Medicine. 

106. Physics, Natural History and Philosophy. 

Note. Academical Degree. 


107. Antiquity of Commerce. 

108. Commerce of the Phenicians, Arabians, and 


109. Mercantile Routes. 

110. Method of carrying goods by land. 

111. Commerce of the Hebrews. 

112. Weights and Measures. 

113. Measures of length. 

114. Hollow Measures. 

115. Weights and Money. 

116. Weights and Money before the Captivity. 

117. Weights and Money after the Captivity. 

T18. Materials of which clothes were made. 

119. Colours of Cloths. 

120. The Tunic. 

121. The Girdle. 

122. Of Upper Garments. 

123. Sandals and Shoes. 

124. Of the Beard. 

125. Of the Hair. 

126. Coverings for the Head. 

127. Of the Veil. 

128. Staff, Seal, and Rings. 

129. Ladies' Rings and Pendants. 

130. Necklaces, Bracelets, &c. 

131. Amulets. 

132. Mirrors. 

133. Purse and Napkins. 

134. Painting and Branding or Sealing. 

135. Dress at Festivals and on occasions of 



136. Of Food in general. 

137. Preparation of Food by Fire. 

138. Of Mills. 

139. Grinding. 

140. Baking bread in an oven. 

141. On the different kinds of Food. 

142. Of Roasting. 

143. Inlerdicted Food. 

144. Beverage. 

145. Time and circumstances of taking Refresh- 


146. Table and method of Sitting. 

147. Mode of Eating. 

148. Of Feasts. 

149. Hospitality of the Orientals. 



150. Precautions against Fornication. 

151. Polygamy. 

152. The choice of a Wife. 

153. The Marriage Vow and Dowry. 

154. Celebration of Nuptials. 

155. Concubines. 

156. Fruitfulness in the Marriage State. 

157. Marriage of a Childless Brother's Widow. 


lo*. Concerning Adultery. 

159. The Suspected Wife. 

160. Bill of Divorce. 

161. Child-Birth. 

162. Circumcision. 

163. Antiquity of Circumcision. 

164. On the Naming of Children. 

165. Concerning the First-Born. 

166. The Nurture of Children. 

167. The power of the Father. 

168. Of the Testament or Will. 

169. Respecting Slaves. 

170. Ways in which men became Slaves. 

171. Condition of slaves among the Hebrews. 

172. Condition of slaves among other Nations. 



173. Character of the Hebrews. 

174. Propriety and refinement of Manners. 

175. Mode of Salutation. 

176. On Visiting. 

177. Of Gifts. 

178. Kinds of presents and methods of bringing 


179. Public Honours. 

180. Conversation and Bathing. 

181. Treatment of the Jews to Strangers. 

182. The Poor and Beggars. 

183. Levitical Defilements. 


184. Of Diseases generally. 

185. Disease of the Philistines mentioned in 1 

Sam. 5—6. 

186. Disease of King Jehoram. 

187. False Conceptions. 

188. Countries where the Leprosy prevails. 

189. Beginnings and progress of Leprosy. 

Note. I. On Bohak as distinct from infec- 
tious Leprosy. 
II. On the Leprosy of Guadaloupe. 

190. On the Pestilence 

191. The disease of Saul and Nebuchadnezzar. 

192. Respecting Demoniacs. 

193. Demoniacs were possessed with a devil. 

194. General view of the opposite argument. 

195. Symptoms in Demoniacs, the same with 

those in diseased persons. 

196. The Apostles, Evangelists, and Christ re- 

garded Demoniacs as diseased persons. 

197. Real possessions inconsistent with the doc- 

trine of Jesus and his Apostles. 

198. Pool near the Sheep Market at Jerusalem. 

199. Concerning Paralytics. 

200. The death of Judas Iscariot. 

201. Blindness of the sorcerer Bar-Jesus. 

202. Disease of Herod Agrippa. 


203. On Death. 

204. Treatment of tho Corpse, Embalming, 

205. Of Funerals. 

206. Situation of Sepulchres. 

207. Sepulchres. 

Note. I. Maundrellon the Sepulchres of tho 

II. Harmer on the White-washing of 

208. Articles, which were buried with the dead. 

209. Sepulchral Monuments. 




210. Burning of the Corpse. 

211. Of Mourning. 

212. Other causes of Mourning. \ 




213. Patriarchal Government. 

214. The Fundamental Law of the Mosaic Insti- 


215. Condition of the Hebrews, as respected oth- 

er Nations. 

216. Principal Officers in the Hebrew State. 

217. Connexion of the Tribes with each other. 

218. The Comitia or Legislative Assemblies. 

219. Form of Government a mixed one. 

220. The Ruler of the Israelitish Community. 

221. The Theocracy. 

222. Historical Tables. 



223. The Anointing of Kings. 

224. Royal Robe, Diadem, and Crown. 

225. The Throne. 

226. The Sceptre. 

227. The Royal Table. 

228. Seclusion of Kings, Journeys, etc. 

229. Royal Palace and Gardens. 

230. Veneration paid to Kings, and Titles, 

which were bestowed upon them. 

231. The duties of the Hebrew Monarchs. 

232. Extent of the Royal power and preroga- 


233. Methods of promulgating Laws, etc. 

234. On the Royal Revenues. 

235. Magistrates under the Monarchy. 

236. Officers of the Palace. 

237. The King's Harem. 

238. The method, in which the Officers and oth- 

ers held intercourse with the King. 

239. Magistrates during and after the Captivi- 


240. Tetrarchs. 

241. Roman Procurators. 

242. Of the Tribute and Half Shekel of the Tem- 



243. Of Judges. 

244. The Sanhedrim. 

Note. Of the Sanhedrim instituted by Moses. 

245. Other Tribunals in the time of Christ. 

246. The time of Trials. 

247. The Forum or place of Trials. 

248. Form of Trial. 

249. Prisons and Tortures. 

250. Regulations, etc. in respect to Debtors. 

251. On Usury. 

252. The smallest Punishment. 

253. Fines and Indemnifications. 

254. Punishment of Theft. 

255. Corporal Punishments. 

256. On Retaliation. 

257. Mosaic Punishments. 

258. Excision from the people. Excommunica- 


259. Of punishments, which consist of Posthu- 

mous insults. 

260. Punishments, introduced from other Na- 



26). Crucifixion, as practised among the Ro- 

262. The cruelties of Crucifixion. 

263. The Public Executioner. 

264. Of the Blood-Avenger, and Cities of Refuge. 

265. Of the unknown Murderer. 


266. General View of Military Science. 

267. General Military Enrolment. 

268. Of the Levy for Actual Service. 

269. Divisions, etc. introduced into Armies. 

270. Military Reviews and Inspections. 

271. Of Shields. 

272. The Helmet. 

273. Cuirass, Breastplate, or Coat of Mail. 

274. Greaves and Military Frock. 

275. On Fortifications. 

276. Arm3, with which the Soldiers fought hand 

to hand. 

277. Of Javelins. 

278. Of the Bow, Arrow, and Quiver. 

279. Of the Sling. 

280. Of Engines, used in war. 

281. Battering Rams. 

282. Respecting the Cavalry. 

283. Of Chariots of War. 

284. Sports and Exercises preparatory to War. 

285. Gymnastic Sports. 

286. Of Encampments. 

287. On Military Marches. 

288. Military Standards. 

289. Respecting War. 

290. Preparations for Battle. 

291. Of the Battle. 

292. On Sieges. 

29.3. Circumvallation. 

294. The Besieger's Mound. 

295. Consequences of Victory. 

296. Severities of ancient warfare. 

297. Justice of the war against the Canaanites. 
Note. Right of the Israelites to Palestine. 

298. On the division of the Spoils. 

299. Respecting the Spoils, which the Hebrews 

took away from the Egyptians. 

300. Periods, when there was a cessation from 





301. Religion down to the Deluge. 

302. from the Deluge to Abraham. 

303. Abraham, Isaac', and Jacob. 

304. Respecting the religion of the Patriarchs. 

305. Respecting Moses. 

306. On the question, " Whether Moses taught 

the existence of a merely national God ?" 

307. On the question, " Whether the character 

of Jehovah, as represented by Moses, is 
merely that of a being inexorably just ."' 

308. Respecting the regulations, which were 

made in order to preserve the true Reli- 

309. On the moral tendency of the instruetions 

and institutions of Moses. 

310. On the question, " Whether there arc Types 

in the Laws of Moses !" 

311. Sketch of Religion from Moses till after the 

Babylonish Captivity. 

312. Perseverance of the Hebrews in their Reli- 

gion after the Captivity. 




313. Respecting the knowledge of God before the 

time of Christ, as developed by Philosophy. 

314. On the condition of Man after Death. 

315. Respecting the Propagation of Judaism. 

316. General state of Jewish affairs. 

317. On the Antiquity of the Jewish Religious 


318. On the doctrine of the Pharisees. 

319. Defects in the moral principles and practice 

of the Pharisees. 

320. On the traditions of the Pharisees. 

321. Galileans and Zealots. 

322. Respecting the Sadducees. 
3:23. Essene3 and Therapeutae. 

324. Concerning the Hellenists. 

325. Concerning Proselytes. 
32G. Concerning the Samaritans. 


327. Of Sacred Places in general. 

328. Of the Tabernacle. 

3-29. The Altar and the Brazen Laver. 

330. The Golden Candlestick. 

331. Of the Table of Shew-Bread. 

332. The Altar of Incense. 

333. Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. 

334. Respecting the Holy Land. 

335. Of Jerusalem, the Holy City. 

336. Mount Moriah. 

337. Of the Temple of Solomon. 

338. The Sanctuary of Solomon's Temple. . 

339. Of the Temple of Zerubbabel. 

340. Of the Temple of Herod. 

341. Of the gates of Herod's Temple. 

342. Porches in the Temple of Herod. 

343. Of the Sanctuary. 

344. Origin of Synagogues. 

345. Of the Structure, otc. of Synagogues. 


346. On the Antiquity of the Sabbath. 

347. On the design of the Sabbath. 

348. Concerning those things, which were to be 

omitted on the Sabbath. 

349. Concerning those things, which were per- 

mitted to be done on the Sabbath. 

350. Concerning the Sabbatic Year. 

351. Of the Year of Jubilee. 

352. New Moons and Feast of the New Year. 

353. Of the great Festivals in general. 

354. Of the Passover. 

355. Of the Pentecost. 

356. Of the Feast of Tabernacles. 

357. On the Day of Propitiation. 

358. Of other Fasts. 

359. Of the Feast, of Purim. 

360. On the Festival Encaenia, otherwise called 

the Festival of the purification of the 


361. Of the Jews, considered as a holy people. 

362. Of persons officially employed in discharg- 

ing religious duties. 

363. Of the servants, who were allotted to the 



364. Of the Consecration of the Levites. 

365. Of the Duties of the Levites. 

366. Of the Priests. 

367. The consecration of the Priests and of the 


368. Concerning the Dress of the Priests. 

369. Of the Duties of the Priests. 

370. Dress of the High-Priest. 

Some account of Urim and Tkummim. 
Note. Remarks of Michaelis on Urim and 

371. On the Question, Whether Priests and Le- 

vites were Public Teachers \ 

372. Officers in the Synagogues. 


373. On the question, What is a Sacrifice ! 

374. On the Origin of Sacrifices. 

375. On the division or kinds of Sacrifices. 

376. The place of Sacrifices. 

377. Of Bloody Sacrifices. 

378. Ceremonies at the offering of Sacrifices. 

379. Of Holocausts or whole Burnt-Offerings. 

380. Of Sin-Offerings. 

381. Of Trespass-Offerings. 

382. Peace and Thank-Offerings. 

383. Of Covenant-Sacrifices. 

384. On the meaning of Sacrifices. 

385. Of Bloodless-Sacrifices. 

386. Of the Purification of the Unclean. 
Of the Red Heifer. 

387. Purification of Leprous Persons. 

388. Of the First-Born. 

389. Of the First-Fruits. 

390. OfTythes. 

391. Of the Sacred Oil. 

392. Of Oaths. 

393. Of Vows. 

394. Of Affirmative Vows. 

Of the Vow called Chercm. 

395. Of Negative Vows, the Nazarite, etc. 

396. Of Prayers. 

397. Of the Worship in the Synagogues. 

398. The language in which the service was 

performed in the Synagogues. 

399. Mode of Worship practised by the Apostles. 


400. Of Idol Deities. 

401. Altars, Statues, Temples, Groves. 

402. Sacrifices, Prayers, Festivals, Purifications, 


403. Of Divinations, &c. 

404. State of Idolatry in the time of Christ. 

405. Of Images made for sacred purposes. 

406. Of the Host or Army of Heaven. 

407. Of the Sun, and the god Baal. 

408. Of other Baals, or Baalim. 

409. Of Astarte, Ashtaroth, or the Moon, as an 

object of worship. 

410. Of Tammuz and Adonis. 

411. Moloc, Molec, Malcom, Milcom. 

412. Of Chiun and Remphan. 

413. OfTeraphim. 

414. Of Dagon. 

4J5. Of other Deities. 




Archaeology, uQxaioloyia, considered subjectively or in refer- 
ence to the mind, is the knowledge of whatever in antiquity is 
worthy of remembrance, but objectively is that knowledge reduced 
to a system. In its widest sense, therefore, it embraces achieve- 
ments of a historical nature, and every thing else, important to be 
transmitted to subsequent ages ; but, in a limited sense, has special 
reference to religious ami civil institutions and ceremonies, to 
opinions, manners and customs, and the like. As there are cir- 
cumstances, worthy of being noticed and remembered, not only in 
the religious and civil, but also in the domestic concerns of the 
ancients, so Archaeology may be divided into sacred, political, and 

Biblical Archaeology embraces every thing in the Bible worthy 
of notice and remembrance, whether it be merely alluded to, or 
treated as something well known. 


I. It enables him to throw himself back more fully into the age, 
the country, and the situation of the sacred writers and their co- 
temporaries, and to understand and estimate the nature and the 
tendencies of the objects, which are there presented to him. II. 




It puts him in a better situation to detect allusions to ceremonies, 
customs, laws, peculiarities in the face of the country, &c, and to 
make himself sure of the precise import of the passages, where 
such allusions occur. III. It proffers him new ability in answer- 
ing the objections of the opposers of Revelation, the greater part 
of which originate in ignorance of antiquity. fc IV. It presents to 
his view distinctly and impressively the adaptation of the different 
dispensations, the object of which was to preserve and, transmit 
religion, to the character and situation of^the age. V. It shows 
him, where to separate moral precept and religious truth from 
the drapery of the figurative language, in which they are clothed ; 
since language, considered as the medium of thought, takes its 
character in a measure from that of the times. Vl.^It enables 
him to enter into the nature and spirit of the arguments in favor 
of the authenticity of the sacred books. VII. That an acquaintance 
with Biblical Archaeology is of great importance is evident from 
this also, that all, who have undertaken to explain the Scriptures, 
while ignorant of it, have committed very great and very numerous 


It is necessary, in order that the student may derive real profit 
from a book of sacred antiquities, not only that he should make 
a right use of it by studying it in a proper manner, but that the 
book or system itself should be drawn from genuine and undoubted 
sources. These sources are 

I. The Scriptures ; which are very weighty, because they are 
in fact the testimony of the people themselves in regard to events 
and customs, in which they w r ere the agents. 

II. Ancient Monuments. These are in a manner living testi- 
monies. Such are the triumphal arch of Titus, a representation of 
w 7 hich has been given by Reland in his Da spoliis templi Jerosoly- 
mitani in arcu Titiano Romae conspicuis ; the ruins of Persepolis ; 
the subterranean vaults or sepulchres in Syria, Palestine, and 
Egypt, countries, where pyramids also, obelisks, and the ruins of 
various edifices bear testimony both to the perfection and the anti- 
quity of the arts ; and the ruins of Baalbec and Palmyra, engravings 
of which in copper have been furnished by Wood. They are of 



a more recent age, but they illustrate what occurs in the Bible, 
relative to the edifices of Herod, and the temple of Jerusalem in 
the time of our Saviour. 

III. Ancient Greek, Phenician, Egyptian, and Roman coins. 
Jewish coins with inscriptions in the old Samaritan character, and 
those of a few other nations. 

IV". The works of Philo the Jew and of Josephus, the former 
of whom resided in Egypt, the latter at first in Judea and subse- 
quently at Rome ; both were cotemporaries with the Apostles. 

V. Ancient Greek and Latin authors, who sometimes give a 
more full account of events and customs, which are merely men- 
tioned or alluded to in the Bible, particularly Herodotus, also 
Xenophon, Arrian, Strabo, Plutarch, Diodorus Siculus, and almost 
all the others. But it is the dictate of sound criticism, that the 
authority of the Biblical writers, who were indigenous, and for the 
most part cotemporary with the events they relate, should super- 
sede, when there is any disagreement, that of these profane writ- 
ers, who were of another country and a lata* age. 

VI. The Mishna or the text of the Talmud, which is a collection 
of traditions, made very nearly between the year 190 and 220, and 
was accompanied after a time by the explanations of the two Ge- 
maras ; the one of which, called the Jerusalem, was written about the 
year 280; the other, called the Babylonian, was begun in 427 and 
completed about the year 500. In making use of the information, 
which this work supplies, there is need of much caution, as there are 
many modern interpolations in it. 

VII. Certain ecclesiastical writers, who lived in Syria or other 
oriental countries, particularly Jerome and Ephraem Syrus ; also 
some Syriac and Arabian books, especially the most ancient. Final- 
ly, the Journals of modern travellers, who have visited the East, 
marked the appearances of the country, and given an account of the 
manners and customs of the inhabitants. In making use of the last 
mentioned works, there is need of caution, lest we assign to antiquity 
what belongs to a more recent period, although it ought at the same 
time to be kept in mind, that the inhabitants of the East are not 
fond of innovations, and retain to this day customs, which throw 
light on many things mentioned in the Bible. The people who have 
retained with the most constancy and exactness their ancient habits, 
are the wandering Arabs, who live in the Arabian deserts, next to 



these are the itinerant shepherds of Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, 
Babylonia or Erak, Egypt and the north part of Africa. Other na- 
tions come into the account, on the subject of biblical antiquities, in 
proportion to the nearness of their situation to the Hebrews. Fur- 
thermore, we should make a distinction between what these writers 
have seen and heard, and their conjectures and opinions ; for in 
the one case they are witnesses, and in the other they assume the 
functions of a judge, a part which may be sustained by any person, 
provided he has the facts in the first place upon which he may build 
his judgment. 






As it seems necessary, that something should be known re- 
specting the theatre of the memorable events in the Bible, be- 
fore proceeding further we shall give a concise view of biblical 
or sacred "geography. Lest we should delay too long in the thresh- 
old, we shall not now discuss the situation of the countries, men- 
tioned Gen. 10: 5 — 10, &c. shall say nothing respecting the origin 
of the Tigris and Euphrates, and shall omit the geography of 
Asia Minor and Greece. We proceed, therefore, to state in a few 
words the situation of those countries, which occur more frequently 
in the Bible. 

§ 5. Aramea. 

The region, which in 4 the Bible is denominated Aram, E^N , is 
a vast tract, extending from mount Taurus south a3 far as Da- 
mascus and Babylonia, and from the Mediterranean sea in an 


§ 5. A.RAMEA. 

eastern direction beyond the Tigris into Assyria. Different parts 
of it are called by different names. 

L Aram beth Rechob, ST^n tpa D^N , otherwise called Assyria ; 
in the most limited meaning of the term, it was a small province 
or peninsula surrounded by the Tigris, and the less and greater 
Zab. Its extent was increased in the progress of time by the ad- 
dition of seven other provinces, and in the age of Isaiah and Ahaz, 
it became, by the accession of other territories still, which extend- 
ed into Syria and Palestine, the very large empire of Assyria. Its 
metropolis, Nineveh, was situated on the eastern shore of the Ti- 
gris, nearly opposite the site of Mosul at the present day. It was 
laid waste in the year 877 before Christ by Arbaces and Belesis, 
but was rebuilt ; it was laid waste again by Cyaxares I. and Na- 
bopolassar in the year 625 before Christ, and ever afterwards re- 
mained desolate. II. Aram Naharaim, Mesopotamia, now called 
by the Arabic name Al-Gezira or the island, for it is almost sur- 
rounded by the Tigris and Euphrates. The provinces into which 
it was divided were 1. the Mesopotamian plains, EnN , or «"HiD 
tntf , and 2. the province of Nesibene, ilSTZw D^tt . III. Aram with- 
out any epithet attached to it, is Syria, now called by the Arabic 
name, Al-Sham or the country to the left, because, when the 
Arab's face was turned towards the east, Aram or Syria lay upon 
the left, i. e. to the north. Its most celebrated cities, the ruins of 
which still remain, were Baalbec or Baal-Gad, Til , otherwise 
called Heliopolis ; Tadmor, or Palmyra; Aleppo, now 

called Haleb, 'pabll , and Antioch. Its minor divisions were 1. the 
kingdom of Damascus, pto79.1I ; 2. the kingdom of Maacha, tlS^ti ; 
3. the kingdom of Tob, SiuD; 4. the kingdom of Hamath, nttft; 
and 5. the kingdom of Geshur, , on the Orontes. 

Note. The orientals, when undertaking to designate the sever- 
al quarters of the heavens, turn their face to the east. Hence 
tHj?. , which properly means in front or before, means also the East ; 
btifty , on the left hand, means also the North ; 'p'lfti* , ^inN , behind, 
and tP , the sea, because it is in that direction, mean likewise the 
West ; and "pXT , the right hand, means the South. 



§ 6. Phenicia. 

It is that part of Syria and Palestine, which borders on the 
shores of the Mediterranean, extending from the river Eleutherus, 
which empties between Orthosia and Tripoli, lat. 34° 26', to 
Achzib or Ecdippa, lat. 32° 50', or, as some say, to Acco or 
Ptolemais at the mouth of the river Belus. It is a country 
small in extent, though once celebrated for its arts and its com- 

Its principal cities were the celebrated Sidon and Tyre, the last 
of which was the most recent in point of origin, but eventually 
rose to the greatest distinction. It was overthrown by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, and afterwards rebuilt on a neighbouring island. It was 
again overthrown by Alexander the great, and was rebuilt, but 
never recovered its ancient greatness. 

§7. Media. 

Media, "^B , between the 32d° and the 40th° of lat. is bound- 
ed on the west by Assyria and Armenia, on the north by the 
Caspian sea, on the east by Hyrcania and Parthia, and on the 
south by Persia. The metropolis was Ecbatana, ttn^nsf, now call- 
ed Hamdan. 

§ 8. Persia, Susiana, Elymais. 

Persia, 0"}5> , is a tract of country, which extends from Media, 
lat. 34°, to the Persian gulf, lat. 27°, and embraces Susiana and 
Elymais. In a more restricted sense, it had Susiana on the west 
and Caramania on the east. In the latter sense, Susiana, whose 
metropolis was Shushan, fujnttj , was situated between Persia and 
Babylonia, and was bounded on the south by the Persian gulf. 
It is now called Chuzistan. Elymais, Sb" 1 ^ , occurs in ancient books 
for the whole of Persia, but in a more limited signification it is 
that district, which is situated to the north of Susiana and the 
north-east of Babylonia, and is bounded in other directions by Me- 
dia. Its limits, however, cannot be very accurately defined. 



§ 9. Babylonia, Chaldea. 

Babylonia was so denominated from its celebrated capital Baby- 
lon. In its greatest extent, it was bounded on the north by Arme- 
nia, and was then anciently called Shinar or Singar ; but when the 
limited meaning was attached to the word, it designated the tract 
bounded on the north by Mesopotamia, by Arabia Deserta on the 
west, and by the Persian gulf on the south. A section of the south- 
ern division of this country, situated on the western shore of the Eu- 
phrates, was ceded by the kings of Assyria to certain tribes of Chal- 
deans. Their original residence was not, as Michaelis supposes, the 
south eastern shore of the Euxine, but, as we learn from Xenophon, 
the southern and eastern part of Armenia. Cyropaed. Bk. II. III. 
Anabasis, Bk. II. III. 

§ 10. Arabia. 

Arabia was called by the inhabitants of Palestine the eastern, 
and by the Babylonians the western country ; by the former Y""i£< 
DID uvoltoXt], and by the latter or '^Qufiia. 

Hence the Arabians were sometimes denominated fi'lj? "^S or 
orientals, sometimes C^nt" or the people of the west, 2 Chron. 9: 14. 
Jer. 3: 2. The Arabs anciently denominated themselves, and do to 
this day, by either of these names, with this peculiarity, however, in 
regard to the latter word, that they call the Bedouin Arabs or the 
dwellers in tents collectively , but the inhabitants of cities, ^"1?, 
comp. Jer. 25: 24. The division into Arabia the happy, the stony, 
and the deserted, which was made by Megasthenes and Ptolemy, 
was unknown to the inhabitants of the East, and is not observed in 
the Bible. 

Arabia Felix is the name of that peninsula, which is so border- 
ed by the Red Sea, more properly called the Arabian gulf, by the 
southern ocean, which was formerly in this part called the Red 
Sea, and by the Persian gulf, that it would be perfectly surround- 
ed, were a line drawn from the inland extremity of the Persian 
gulf to port Ailan or Aelan, situated near the eastern end of the Red 

That region, which is bounded on the east by Arabia Deserta, 

§11. EGYPT. 


on the west by Egypt and the Mediterranean, on the south by the 
Red Sea, which here divides and runs north in two branches, and 
on the north by Palestine, is called Arabia Petrea, or the stony, 
from the city Petrea, $\ p. . Idumea, otherwise called Seir, 
is the northeastern part of Arabia Petrea. Finally, the tract, 
which has Arabia Felix on the south, Babylonia and the Euphra- 
tes on the east, the Euphrates and Syria on the north, and Gilead 
on the west, is called Arabia Deserta. There are large tracts in 
these regions, especially in Arabia Deserta, covered with rolling 
sands; barren as they are, they neverthless, occasionally supply 
pasturage to the wandering shepherds. 

§ 11. Egypt. 

Egypt, &?!2ij^ '"riSjQ, bft y-W, extending from lat. 31° 27' 
to 23° 45', is bounded on the east by Arabia Petrea and the Red 
Sea, on the south by Ethiopia or rather Nubia, on the west by the 
deserts of Africa or Libya, and on the north by the Mediterranean. 
It has been divided into two parts, the lower or northern, 
which is called the Delta, and the upper or southern, which in Ara- 
bic is called lXaXao Zaid, in Greek Qr^atg, and in Hebrew 
Sinns, unless, which may be the case, by the Hebrew Pathros 
merely a district or canton is meant to be designated. It is some- 
times divided into three parts, in which case the lower part of 
Upper Egypt receives the name of Heptanomis, because it con- 
sisted of seven districts. The celebrated Nile, which is commonly 
denominated in the Bible, by way of eminence, ISO or the river, 
passes through Egypt. Every year in the month of August and Sep- 
tember it inundates the adjacent country, fertilizes it by a deposition 
of black mud, and empties at last into the Mediterranean. For- 
merly it had seven mouths, two of the principal of which remain. 
The most celebrated cities in this country are N ; 3 or "pfttf SO i. e. 
Thebes or Diospolis magna, the metropolis of Upper Egypt, long 
ago celebrated by Homer for its hundred gates, and still memora- 
ble for its ruins ; SpD or p]ia , Memphis, almost on the division line 
between lower and upper Egypt, on the western shore of the 
Nile ; "j^k or Tanis, which yet remains in an island of lake Ten- 
nis or Mensale ; and Alexandria, built by Alexander on the shore 


of the Mediterranean near the western boundary of Egypt, celebrat- 
ed for its harbour. 

<§ 12. Land of Gessen or Goshen and the river of Egypt. 

The region of Goshen, fitta , in the Vulgate Gessen, is called 
Gen. 47: 6, 11, y""}^!"] SD^a or the land of pasture, and was, there- 
fore not a cultivated part of Egypt. From 1 Chron. 7: 21, it is 
clear that the boundary line of this tract was not far from the 
city of Gaza. Hence it must have been the eastern part of lower 
Egypt which extended along the shore of the Mediterranean, as 
far as Arabia Petrea. This accounts for the circumstance, that 
the Alexandrine interpreter, who must have been acquainted with 
the geography of this region, renders Gen. 45: 10, Feotv 3 ^4ya(3Iug. 

From these particulars it appears, that Goshen was nearly of a tri- 
angular form, being bounded by a line drawn from Heroopolis to the 
river of Egypt, by the Mediterranean, and by the Pelusian branch of 
the Nile. But an inquiry arises here in respect to the position of 
the river of Egypt, which occurs so often in the Bible. Most 
probably it is the torrent, which when it is swollen during the winter 
season, empties into the sea at Rhinocolura, now called Al-Arish ; 
for the Septuagint renders d^2Za btlZ by the word 'PivoxoXovqu ; 
and Epiphanius, who was not less acquainted with these regions 
than the Alexandrine interpreter, asserts, Haer. 66, p. 703, that 
Rhinocolura was called by the inhabitants, veal, which is evident- 
ly the word bh: , uttered with different vowels. The traveller 
Helferich also, p. 385, says he came in 1565 to Al-Arish, situated 
in a country called Nechile, which is the word ^h: again with a 
little alteration. Compare Brochard's Book of travels, p. 466; and 
Wansleb, in the collection of Travels made by Paulus iii. 164. 
That other travellers have not found the river or torrent in ques- 
tion, is owing to the circumstance that its channel or valley was 
dry ; as might have been expected in the warm season, which was 
the time when they approached it. 

§ 13. Extent and boundaries of the Hebrew territories. 

Canaan, , a region occupied in the first instance partly by 
the Canaanites, the posterity of Canaan the son of Ham, partly 


by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and promised by God to the posteri- 
ty of these patriarchs, is enclosed by the river Jordan, the Dead 
Sea, Arabia Petrea, the Mediterranean, and Syria. The divine 
promise, however, had respect at the same time to those territo- 
ries, which the Hebrews, when afterwards provoked to arms, should 
reduce to their authority. As soon as they were in a condition to 
penetrate to the land, which had been occupied by the Patriarchs 
before them, they conquered the kings of Gilead, who had taken 
up arms by way of resistance, and occupied, by the right of war, 
the tract which stretches from the river Arnon to the foot of mount 
Hermon or Antilibanus, Num. 21: 21, et seq. Afterwards they 
subjected the neighbouring territories. The boundaries in refer- 
ence to this increased extent are defined, Gen. 51: 18 — 21. Num. 
34: 1, 2. Deut. 11: 24. Josh, h 4. 11: 1G, 17. 12: 1—7. 15—33. 

On the south, the boundary line ran with some irregularities from 
the end of the Dead Sea along Idumea and Arabia Petrea, as far as 
the river or torrent of Egypt. The pastures of Arabia Petrea, par- 
ticularly of the desert, which extends both through Petrea and De- 
serta as far as the Persian gulf and north along the Euphrates, 
remained free, for it was not possible to fix any definite limits in 
those regions. In the time of David the whole of Idumea as far 
as the bay of Elana submitted to the Hebrews. The furthest city, 
in this direction, that belonged to them, is often mentioned by the 
name of Beersheba, 9313 *iSO , which, however, was not situated on 
the boundary line. 

On the west, from the river of Egypt to the city Acco or Ptole- 
mais, or rather as far as Achzib, Josh. 19: 28, 29, the boun- 
dary was the Mediterranean Sea, called in Hebrew, ^iliJft 
•p-lt^r: DVT. The Philistines, who were conquered by David, 
dwelt on its southern shore, within the limits just mentioned. 

They often threw off the yoke. From Achzib, the boundary 
received a direction north into the main land, and ran contiguous 
to Phenicia 78 English miles to lat. 34°, terminating at Apheca, 
which is situated between Biblum or Gible and Baal-Gad or Baal- 
bec. Phenicia, therefore, was not included in the territory of 
the Hebrews. Josh. 13: 2 — 6. Comp. Numbers 34: 6, and Josh- 
ua 19: 24—31. 

The northern boundary extended with many deviations from Aph- 
eca to the east, touched in Coelesyria upon the kingdom of Ha- 
math, and enclosed the city of Baal-Gad, lat. 34°, near which ap- 



pears to have been situated the city of Dan, so often mentioned, 
as being on the northern extremity of the kingdom. There the 
line ran south-east to Arabia Deserta, so as to exclude the king- 
dom of Damascus ; the whole of which, with the cities of Betack 
and Bairuth was at length occupied by the armies of David. It 
recovered, however, its freedom under his successors, and created 
much trouble to the kingdom of Israel. 

On the east, the Euphrates was the boundary assigned, Deut. 
11: 24. It cannot, however, be accurately determined, on account 
of the extensive deserts, which exist in that direction. The 
mountains of Gilead, which were subjected by Moses, approach 
the barren waste, which girds the shore of the Euphrates, and as 
we learn 1 Chron. 5: 9, 16, supplied pasture to the tribes of Gad 
and Reuben. The tribes beyond Jordan, under Saul, subdued a 
large extent of country, 1 Chron. 5: 19. The Ammonites possess- 
ed the territory to the east of the river Arnon, and the Moabites 
inhabited the region to the south of the same river. So that the 
Arnon was the boundary, which separated the Hebrews on the east 
from the Ammonites, and on the south from the Moabites, until 
they were subdued by David, who extended the lines of his domin- 
ion, as far north as 35° 15 of lat. where the city Thipsach or Tapsa- 
cus was situated. From these facts it is clear, that the kingdom of 
David and Solomon was very large, extending from the 28 to the 35 
of lat. and from the 52d to the 59th of longitude. 

§14. Face of the country; Mountains. 

Palestine is a mountainous country. Two ranges, the one on 
the east, the other on the west side of the Jordan, extend from 
Syria into Arabia, interrupted, however, in various places, by val- 
lies and level tracts of greater or less extent. The principal moun- 
tains are, 

1. Mount Lebanon. It is formed of two summits, which run 
north almost parallel from lat. 33° 12' to lat. 34° 32', and leave 
a valley in the middle, which is called Coelesyria, xoiX?] Zvgla, 
fi^rr j^ri and ]i:sb n*p2, Gen. 10: 23. Jos. 11: 17. These 
mountains begin to ascend about three miles north of ancient Tyre, 
where the river Leontes, now called Kasmie, which flows from 
Coelesyria or the valley between the mountains, empties into the 
sea. The western summit is denominated Libanus, by the Greeks, 


and the eastern, Antilibanus ; but the Hebrews do not make this 
distinction of names, denominating both summits by the common 
name of Lebanon or Libanus. Libanus runs north from the mouth 
of the Leontes, bending a little to the east, it leaves on the bor- 
ders of the sea a plain of different degrees of breadth. Some pro- 
montories, notwithstanding, two at least, project into the sea, the 
one near the mouth of the Lycus, now called Nahr el Khalb, lat. 
33° 16', the other, lat. 34° 50', called \Tiov npoownov. Anciently 
on these mountains there grew cedars, of which there remain to 
this day from twenty to forty, though according to Aryda only 
fourteen, of great size and antiquity, together with many smaller 
ones. Antilibanus runs from the mouth of the Leontes, at first, in 
an eastern direction, but soon alters its course and runs north, pa- 
rallel with Libanus. It is much higher than Libanus, and is crown- 
ed with perpetual snows, Jer. 18: 13. In the summer, snow is also 
found on Libanus in the clefts and fissures, which are exposed 
to the north ; it is often brought down into the neighbouring cities, 
and mingled with the drink of the inhabitants, in order to render it 
more cool and refreshing, Prov. 25: 12. The highest peak of An- 
tilibanus was called by the Hebrews, Hermon ; by the Sidonians, 
Sirion ; and by the Amorites, Senir, Deut. 3: 9. In later times 
these three names were given to three separate summits, 1 Chron. 
5: 23. The part towards Damascus was called Amana, n-JON , 
from which flow the two rivers Amana and Pharphar, 2 Kgs. 5: 
12. The pine and the fir flourish on Antilibanus. The height of 
these mountains is about 9000 feet. They exhibit a grand and 
imposing appearance; many of the images, which occur in the 
Scriptures, are drawn from them. Isa. 10: 34. 29: 17. 35: 2. 

II. Carmel. This is a mountainous ridge, which begins to rise 
about thirteen miles south of Ptolemais, in the vicinity of a large 
bay formed by the sea. It stretches south 11 h miles, and is 40 
miles in circumference, according to D'Arvieux nearly 60. The 
northern and eastern summits are higher than the southern and 
western. The northern summit or ridge projects into the sea, the 
southern recedes, and leaves a plain on the shore in the form of a 
half circle. The name itself is an indication of the fruitfulness of 
these ridges, and of the vallies, which they form; for is a 

contraction for G^S, which means the garden of God, or a 
very pleasant region. The tops of these mountains are crowded 


with oaks and firs, the vallies with laurels and olives ; nor is there 
any deficiency of fountains and rivulets, so grateful to the inhabi- 
tants of the east. Carmel has been to the Hebrew prophets the 
source of many poetical images, Isa. 29: 17. 32: 15. 35: 2. Mich. 
7: 14. Jer. 48: 33. Its many caves are worthy of notice, many 
of which existed in ancient times ; also the paths leading through 
continuous clefts in the rocks, where one may easily and effectual- 
ly hide himself, Amos 9: 3. 2 Kings 2: 25. 4: 25. There was 
another Mount Carmel, with a city of the same name, in the tribe 
of Judah, 1 Sam. 25: 5. 27: 3. 2 Sam. 3: 3. 

III. Tabor, "Pin, ]ttci(3vqiov, a singular mountain of an ob- 
long shape, in the direction from north to south, eleven miles east 
of Carmel, and about nine west of the Jordan, on the northern side 
of the plain of Jezreel or Ezdrelom. It is estimated to be nearly 
a mile high, and a journey of three hours in circumference at the 
bottom. On the top of the mountain is a plain of an oblong figure, 
like the mountain itself, and three thousand paces in circuit. On 
this plain there was formerly a city, probably the same with the 
city Tabor in the tribe of Zebulun, mentioned 1 Chron. 5: 77, and 
which, in Joshua 21: 34, is simply called nnn£ , a city. It is not 
the same with the Tabor, mentioned 1 Sam. 10: 3, which was two 
miles distant from Jerusalem. 

IV. The Mountains of Israel, also called the Mountains of Eph~ 
raim, occupied nearly the centre of the whole country. To the 
south of them were the Mountains of Judah. Both ridges are 
fruitful, excepting those parts of the mountains of Israel, which 
approach the district of the Jordan, and those also, which extend 
from the mount of Olives to the plains of Jericho. These tracts 
are rough and uneven, and abound in hiding places for robbers, 
Luke 10: 30. The highest peak in the mountains of Israel or Eph- 
raim, seems to be what was formerly called the Rock Rimmon, 
Jud. 20: 45 — 47, but is now called Quarantaria. The mountains 
Ebal and Gerizim are celebrated. They are separated from each 
other merely by an intervening valley, the former being to the 
north, the latter to the south of Shechem, Josh. 8: 30 — 35. Deut. 
xxvii. In the mountains of Judah are numerous and large caves, of 
which Adullam, fcVjSJ, is the most celebrated, 1 Sam. 21: I, 2. 
Comp. also Gen. 23: 9, 19. Josh. 10: 16. There was also a city 
of the name of Adullam, Josh. 15: 35. 

§ 15. PLAINS. 


V. The Mountains of Gilead, l$b$ . They are situated east 
of the Jordan, and extend from Antilibanus or mount Hermon into 
Arabia Petrea. The northern part is called Bashan, and was cele- 
brated for its oaks and pastures. The middle was denominated 
Gilead in the stricter sense. In the southern part were the moun- 
tains Abarim, t^-D? . Among these, in the region of Jericho, arose 
the mountain Pheor or Phegor, also Nebo, from the summit of 
which, called Pisgah, the whole land of Canaan is visible. Deut. 
3: 27- 32: 48—50. 34: 1,2. comp. Matt. 4: 8. 


§ 15. Plains. ^f>2 , r&Stp , nan* , . 

The most celebrated are, I. The shore of the Mediterranean 
from the river of Egypt to mount Carmel. The tract from Gaza 
to Joppa is simply called fi^S'«Z?n , the plain. In this plain were 
the five principal cities of the Philistines, viz. Gaza, Askelon, Azo- 
tus, Gath, and Ekron or Accaron. The region reaching from Jop- 
pa to Carmel, which is somewhat hilly, was called Sharon. This 
is to be distinguished from a place, likewise called Sharon, situated 
between Tabor and lake Gennesareth ; and from a third place also 
of the same name, east of the Jordan in the tribe of Gad, celebrat- 
ed for its pastures. 

II. The plain of Jezreel, btt^T^ , E£dQr]\o)(.i, ptya nediov, ex- 
tends from west to east, through the middle of Palestine, beginning 
at the Mediterranean and the mountain Carmel, and terminating at 
the egress of the Jordan from lake Gennesareth. Its length is from 
twenty-three to twenty-eight, and its breadth from nine to thirteen 
miles. The eastern part is called Sharon ; the western, the plain 
of Megiddo, ii^TD n?pa . See Judges 4: 1, et seq. 6: 33. 7: 8. 1 
Sam. 29: 1, 11. 2 Kings 23: 29. 2 Chron. 35: 22. 1 Macab. 4: 49. 

III. The region or district of Jordan, "j 153 or fta^J, r\ 
TTtgiytogug too '/ogfiavov or fit'yct Titdlov, includes the shore on both 
sides of the Jordan, from the lake Gennesareth to the Dead Sea. 
Its breadth from west to east is thirteen miles, its length from 
north to south, according to the corrected reading of Josephus, 
Bell. Jud. L. IV. c. 8. § 2. is 138 miles, which is too great a length 
to correspond with the distance between lake Gennesareth and 
the Dead Sea. Modern travellers make the length about 56 miles. 
This region may be divided into, I. The plain of Jericho, ffi^ tlgpa, 

16 § 16. FORESTS. . 

which is watered and fertilized by a small river, and is eight miles 
in length, and two and a quarter in breadth. II. The valley of 
Salt, reaching to the Dead Sea. 2 Kings 14: 7. 1 Chron. 18: 12. 
2Chron. 25: 11. III. The plains of Mo ah beyond Jordan, ^t) 
nwNT73 , also, SITlfi nizn? , in which the Hebrews pitched their tents, 
Num. 26: 3. These plains are called, Num. 25: 1, and Josh. 2: 
1. 3: 1, Shittim, B\3i2)n bfr: , or the valley of Acacia. A variety 
of words are applied to level places or vallies, whose different 
shades of meaning cannot now be accurately determined. bh2 1 
however, is a valley, which has a torrent flowing through it in the 
winter; "va,"^., N" 1 -}. is a valley without any such torrent; p723? is 
perhaps a deep valley, as T^pz is a broad valley or plain. Of these 
vallies, that of Hinnom fcrisn "\3 or ID13FI ]1 12, near the southern 
wall of Jerusalem, is particularly worthy of mention for two reasons. 
The one, that it separated Judah from the tribe of Benjamin ; the 
other, because in a certain part of it was DBn Topheth 2 Kings 23: 
10, where infants were burnt to the idol Moloch, Jer. 7: 31. 

§ 16. Forests, b*75? . 

Forests are mentioned in Joshua 17: 15, and in many other 
passages. They are mentioned so frequently as to convince us, 
that the Hebrews anciently were not often compelled, like the mod- 
ern inhabitants of Palestine, to burn the excrements of animals for 
fuel ; although it may have sometimes been the case, as is probable 
from Ezek. 4: 15. The forests which are spoken of with the great- 
est praise in the Bible are, I. The cedar forest on mount Lebanon, 
see § 14. I. also 1 Kgs. 7: 2. 2 Kgs. 19: 23. Hos. 14: 6—8. II. The 
forest of pines and firs on A ntilibanus, which was first reduced into 
the possession of the Hebrews by David. 2 Sam. 8: 5, 6. 1 Chron. 
18: 4. III. The forest of oaks on mount Bashan. Zech. 11: 2. 
IV. The forest of Ephraim, which the Ephraimites began to cut 
down so early as the time of Joshua, see ch. 17: 15, but of which 
there were some remains as late as the time of David, 2 Sam. 18: 6, 
8, 17. A part of it seems to have been the wood near the city of 
Bethel, mentioned 2 Kgs. 2: 24. 

V. A forest on the boundary line between Judah and Benjamin, 
near the city Baalah, which was thence called Kirjath Jearim, 

§17. DESERTS. 


n^p , or the city of the forest, Jos. 15: 9, 10, 60. Ezra 2: 
25. Neh. 7: 29. VI. The forest Ckareth rrfi , and the forest 
Chorsha ir*nh. The latter was very large, in the tribe of Jud ah and 
the wilderness of Ziph, 1 Sam. 22: 5. 23: 14—16. VII. The shrub 
fields on the shores of lake Merom and the Jordan, called fi&% 
TVpS tne pride, and, sometimes in the English translation, the swell- 
ing of the Jordan. Zech. 11:3. Jerem. 12: 5. 49: 19. 50: 44. VIII. 
The forest Joardes east of the Jordan, mentioned by Josephus as 
having been cut down by the Romans, see his Jewish War, B. vii. 
chap. 6. § 5. IX. The forests on the top of Carmel, and on the 
sides of mount Tabor. 

If at the present period forests are rarely to be met with in Palestine, we 
must remember that not only many of them were cut down by the Hebrews 
themselves, but that they were often destroyed also by the enemies, who at 
different times laid waste Judea. We should not be surprised, therefore, if 
wood should be wanting for fuel, though not much is required in that warm 
climate, and that the dried excrements of quadrupeds should be used in its 

§ 17. Deserts. 

The Deserts tn-)2*7?3 , mentioned in the Bible, are uncultivated 
tracts of earth of two kinds ; some mountainous, but not destitute 
of water ; others are plains, covered with sterile sands, in which 
fountains are very rare, and still fewer are those, which afford 
water fit to drink. They scarcely make their way out of the 
thirsty earth and are soon absorbed again. These plains produce, 
notwithstanding, a scanty herbage, upon which the sheep, goats, 
and camels feed. The sands, which are scorched by the heat of 
the sun, are very light; and are borne about by heavy winds, 
like the waves of the sea. One whirlwind piles them up in im- 
mense heaps and leaves them standing ; the succeeding one takes 
them and carries them to another place. In these deserts there 
were formerly villages and towns, Josh. 15: 61, 62. 1 Sam. 23: 19. 
They were not standing in the days of Jerome, (Prolog, in Com- 
ment. Amos.) 

The mountain deserts are not of so dreary and unproductive a 
character. These deserts obtained names from the places, near 
which they were situated. The most celebrated is the Great Desert, 
which according to Jerome, (Prolog, in Comment. Amos,) commen- 


ces at the city of Tecoa, which was six miles south of Bethlehem. 
It extends through Arabia Deserta as far as the Persian gulf, and 
north along the Euphrates beyond the city of Bir. This large tract 
is called In the Bible the Desert of Judah, because it commences 
within the limits of that tribe, Josh. 19: 34. Ps. 63: 1. 2 Chron. 20: 
20. Matt. 3: 1. Mark 1: 4. John 10: 40. The Desert of Engedi is 
on the western shore of the Dead Sea and connects with the desert 
of Ziph. Both have lofty mountains and many caves. More to the 
south is the desert of Maon piTO , the desert of Carmel with a city 
of the same name, the desert of Tecoa, Sppn, also with a city of the 
same name ; all of which are parts of the desert of Judah. The De- 
sert of Jericho is that chain of mountains, which separates the 
mount of Olives from the city of Jericho. The Desert of Beth Aven 
seems to be part of mount Ephraim, which exhibits, as Josephus 
himself observes, in the part towards the Jordan, a bald and rough 
appearance. Josh. 18: 12. 

§ 18. The Jordan, Lake Merom and Gennesareth. 

The only river in Palestine of any considerable size is the Jor- 
dan, which, as was first discovered under the tetrarchate of Philip, 
has its source from lake Phiala, at the foot of Mount Libanus. Hav- 
ing first measured from this lake a subterranean journey of thirteen 
miles, and three quarters, it bursts forth from the earth with a great 
noise at Paneas, otherwise called Cesarea Philippi, see Josephus' Jew- 
ish War, B. I. ch. 21. B. III. ch. 10. It then advances about thirteen 
miles further, and discharges its waters into lake Merom or Samo- 

Lake Merom in the spring, when the water is highest, is seven 
miles long and three and a half broad, but the marshes extend to 
Daphne, where the Jordan issues from it. In the summer it is no- 
thing but a marsh ; in some parts indeed it is sowed with rice, but 
commonly it is covered with shrubs and rushes, which afford a hid- 
ing place to wild beasts, Jewish War, B. IV. ch. 1. § 1. 

The Jordan, after it has left Lake Merom, flows on thirteen 
miles, and enters Gennesareth, which is also called the sea of Gali- 
lee or Tiberias. The waters of this lake, which is sixteen miles 
long and five broad, are pure and sweet, and it abounds in fish, 
Strabo, p. 714. It is surrounded with fruitful hills and mountains, 
from which many rivulets descend. 

§ 19. THE DEAD SEA. 


The breadth of the Jordan, at its egress from the lake Gennesa- 
reth, is from 150 to 200 feet, and it is 7 feet in depth. With many 
windings it runs through the plain, which is denominated, from 
the river itself, the Region of the Jordan. From the west it 
receives five tributaries, which are not much known ; from the east 
it receives the Jabbok, the Jaezer, the Kerith, and the Acacia tor- 
rent, so called from the valley of the same name. The Jordan owes 
its origin to the perpetual snows of Antilibanus ; consequently, in the 
time of harvest, which commences in the latter half of April, when 
it is swollen by the melted snows of that mountain, it dashes on rap- 
idly and fills the whole of its upper channel, Jos. 3: 15. 4: 18. 
1 Chron. 12: 15, for the channel of the river in the vicinity of Jeri- 
cho, the place, of which we are speaking, is double. The lower one 
is ordinarily from 70 to 80 feet broad, through which the water flows 
the whole year ; it is 10 or 12 feet deep, and the distance from the 
upper edge of the channel bank to the surface of the water is 
from 4 to 8 feet. The other channel, called the upper one, is 
broader than the lower, varying from 2 to 600 paces and is filled 
in the beginning of summer by the swelling of the waters, as just 
observed. Travellers have commonly visited the Jordan either 
before or after this time ; hence they say nothing of its rise. 
Mirike, however, Travels, p. 119, testifies, that he found the up- 
per channel still wet and slippery. Many are inclined to suppose, 
that the river has hollowed the first channel so deep, that it now 
never passes it. 

§ 19. The Dead Sea. nS^rj &\ 

The Jordan empties its waters into the Dead Sea, sometimes call- 
ed the Eastern sea, sometimes the sea of Siddim, sometimes the sea 
of the Plain ; because it occupies the plain of Siddim, in which the 
cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboim, and Zoar were situat- 
ed, Deut. 3: 17. Gen. 18: 20. 19: 24. et seq. Joel 2: 20. Zech. 14: 8. 
As the Jordan, before the celebrated destruction of this plain, dis- 
charged itself in the same place, that it now does, the conclusion is a 
necessary one, that the lake, which then existed, was subterranean, 
comp. Gen. 14: 3. It was covered with a crust of earth, which was 
sustained by the Asphaltus, a pitchy, bituminous substance, which 
emerged from the bottom of the Lake, and collected during a long 

20 § 19. THE DEAD SEA. 

course of years in large masses. The Asphaltus arises from the 
lake to this day, floats on its surface, and occasionally explodes, 
Isa. 34: 9, 10. Wisd. 10: 7. Jude 7. Hence it has obtained the 
name of the lake Asphaltites. This statement is confirmed by 
Gen. 14: 10, where mention is made of slimepits, through which 
the Asphaltus or bitumen penetrated from the subterranean water. 
This bitumen, being at length set on fire by the lightning, burnt, 
and the earth by which it was covered, being deprived of its sup- 
port, sunk in the waters, and the lake made its appearance, Gen. 
19: 24. 

The lake is said to be 67 miles from north to south, and 17 in its 
greatest breadth from west to east. Its waters are a little im- 
pregnated with alum, and very much so with salt; hence it is called 
the Salt Sea, Gen. 14: 4, and because it preserves nothing alive in it, 
it is also called the Dead Sea. Whatever is immersed in its wa- 
ters and taken out again, is covered with a crust of salt ; which 
seems to have been the destiny of Lot's wife, unless indeed the 
discourse be merely of a monument heaped up of incrusted salt, 
Gen. 19: 26. The shores, excepting the north western, are moun- 
tainous. On the northwest is a plain, impregnated with salt, 
barren, scorched, and covered with cinders. This fact explains to 
us the origin of the custom of sprinkling salt upon desert places, 
unless reference be had in the custom to other salt vallies, of which 
there are numbers in the east, Deut. 29: 23. Judg. 9: 45. In 
this plain grows the solarium melangenae p*ift, also called the 
vine of Sodom, which bears what have been denominated the ap- 
ples and also the grapes and clusters of Sodom, otherwise called 
the bitter and poisonous grapes and clusters. They are said to be 
beautiful outside, but within, corruption and ashes, Deut. 32: 32. 
In the spring, when the Jordan rises, the lake itself is swollen. 
The inhabitants, therefore, dig pits on the shore, which receive 
the waters of the lake ; the water in the pits stagnates after the 
fall of the lake, goes off gradually in vapour and leaves a bed of 
salt, which sort of salt is used by the whole of that region, Zeph. 
2: 9. Ezech. 47: 11. 

The other rivers, which empty into the Dead Sea are, I. from 
the west, Kidron, itiftctQQOQ kZv Ktd(j(av, John 18: 1, which arises 
in a valley of the same name between Jerusalem and the mount of 
Olives ; its channel is dry except in the winter. Its direction is 



first south, then east, through the steep cliffs of the desert Enge- 
di, where it receives some accession by means of the torrents 
from the mountains, and then descends into the Dead Sea. II. 
Near the southern extremity flows in the Saphia or Saphria, a con- 
siderable stream. III. On the eastern shore, nearly in the centre, 
is the mouth of the torrent Zerea, and a little north of it, IV. is the 
mouth of the river Arnon, which has its rise in the vallies of mount 
Gilead, from the torrents of that mountain. It flows first in a south- 
ern direction and then west, so as to form with the Dead Sea, the 
Jordan, and the Jobbak, a peninsula. The channel of this river, as 
we have already said, separated on the east the Gadites and the Reu- 
benites from the Ammonites, and on the south the Reubenites from 
the Moabites. 

§ 20. Other Rivers. 

Of the other rivers and torrents, which are somewhat celebrat- 
ed, may be mentioned, I. The Belus, ^ih" 1 '^ nS^b , a small river, 
according to Pliny only 4 miles in length ; it arises in the mountains 
of the tribe of Asher and empties into the Mediterranean about two 
furlongs south of Ptolemais. The sand of its banks has been much 
used in the manufacture of glass, and it is said, " that the making 
of glass first originated from this rjver." 

II. The Kishon. It arises from the foot of mount Tabor, where 
the Tabor unites with the mountain called little Hermon ; it then 
divides into two branches. The smaller share of the waters, that de- 
scend from these mountains, flows east through the valley of Jezreel 
into lake Gennesareth. The remainder, which forms the larger body 
of the two, runs west through the valley of Jezreel, and, after being 
increased by the accession of many small streams, enters the sea near 
Carmel. The last mentioned branch of the river was called Megid- 
do, and anciently divided the tribe of Issachar from the tribe of Ze- 

III. The Brook of Reeds, n:£ it is dry except in the 
winter. In its course from east to west, it formerly separated the 
tribe of Ephraim from that of Manasseh, Jos. 17: 8, 9. It enters 
the Mediterranean south of Cesarea. 

IV. The Brook Eshkol ; it rises in the mountains of Judah 
and enters the Mediterranean at Askelon. It seems to be the same 
with the brook Sorek, Num. 13: 24. Jud. 16: 4. 



V. The Brook Besor ; it enters the sea at Gaza. 

Note. — It may be remarked here, that signifies a river, 
brook, or torrent, which flows in the winter, though it may be per- 
fectly dry in the summer ; while ^rr: signifies a large stream, and 
if it have the article prefixed, almost always means the Euphrates. 

§ 21. On the Climate of Palestine. 

The state of the atmosphere in this climate is different in differ- 
ent places, but it is not so changeable, as in some parts of Eu- 
rope. We shall state its variations during the six divisions of 
the oriental year, mentioned Gen. 8: 22, which have been per- 
petuated to this day among the Arabians, see Golii Lex. Arab. p. 

During the first part of the year, which is called or the 

harvest, and which extends from the middle of April to the middle 
of June, the sky is serene, the atmosphere in the latter part of April 
is warm, sometimes oppressively so, excepting in the vallies and on 
the shores of the sea, where it is temperate. The heat continues to 
increase, and to become more unpleasant towards the latter part of 
this division of the seasons. 

During the second part of the year, which is called , the 
time of fruits or summer, extending from the middle of June to the 
middle of August, the heat is so severe, that the effect of it is 
felt through the night, and the inhabitants sleep under the open 

The third season, extending from the middle of August to the 
middle of October, is called Dn or the hot season; because in the 
commencement of it the heat continues very severe, although it soon 
begins to abate. 

From the time of harvest or the middle of April to the middle 
of September, there is neither rain nor thunder, Prov. 26: 1. 1 Sam. 
12: 17. Jerome on Amos 4: 7. Sometimes in the beginning of the 
harvest or the latter half of April, a cloud is perceived in the morn- 
ing, which, as the sun rises, gradually disappears, Hos. 6: 4. But in 
the months of May, June, July, and August, not a cloud is seen, and 
the earth is not wet, except by the dew, which is, therefore, every 
where used as a symbol of the divine benevolence, Gen. 27: 28. 49: 
25. Deut 32: 2. 33: 13. Job 29: 19. Mic. 5: 7. The dew, copious 


as it is, affords no support in the severe heat of summer, except to 
the stronger kind of herbs ; the smaller and less vigorous, unless 
watered from some rivulet or by human art and labour, wither and 
die, Ps. 32: 4. If at this season of the year, a spark or brand fall 
among the dry herbs and grass, a wide conflagration commences, 
especially if brambles, shrubs, or a forest be near, Ps. 83: 14. Isa. 9: 
18: Jer. 21: 14. comp. Exod. 22: 6. Joel 1: 19. Jer. 9: 12. The 
country generally presents a squalid appearance, for the fountains 
and brooks are dried, and the ground is so hard, that it splits open 
into fissures. These effects are accelerated, if the east wind hap- 
pens to blow a few days, which is not only destructive to the vines 
and harvest fields on land, but to the vessels at sea on the Mediter- 
ranean, Hos 13: 15. Jon. 4: 8. Job 14: 2. 15: 2. Isa. 40: 7. Gen. 
41: 6, 23. Ezech. 17: 10. 19: 12. 27: 26. Ps. 48: 7. 103: 15. Acts 
27: 14. Every wind is called by the orientals D" 1 ^ , an east wind, 
which blows from any point of the compass between the east and 
north, and between the east and south, see Shaw's Travels, p. 285, 
and Prosper Alpinus de Medicina Egyptiaca, near the beginning. 
The breeze, which blows a few hours before the setting of the sun in 
that climate, is called among the Persians to this time, as in Gen. 3: 
7, the breeze of the day, i. e. the cooling or refreshing breeze of the 
day, see Chardin Voy. T. IV. p. 8. 

During the fourth part of the year, which is called V'lT or seed- 
time, i. e. from the middle of October to the middle of December, 
the appearance of the sky is various, sometimes dark and cloudy, 
but calm, and sometimes rainy. In the latter part of October, be- 
gin the first or autumnal rains, so necessary for the sower. The 
atmosphere still continues warm and at times it is very hot, but 
the weather gradually grows colder, and towards the end of this 
division of the seasons, the snows fall on the mountains. The 
brooks are still dry, and the water in the rivers is shallow. In 
the second half of November, the leaves fall from the trees. 
Some, who are less robust find the need of a fire, which they con- 
tinue almost till April, Jer. 36: 22 ; others do without one the 
whole winter. 

The fifth part of the year, fpfr , extending from the middle of 
December to the middle of February, constitutes the winter. 
The snows, which are then not unfrequent, scarcely continue 
through the day, except on the mountains; the ice is thin and 



melts as soon as the sun ascends to any considerable height. The 
north winds are chill, and the cold, particularly on the mountains, 
which are covered with snow, is intense. The roads are slippe- 
ry, and travelling is both tedious and dangerous, particularly 
through the declivities of the mountains, Jer. 13: 16. 23: 12. Si- 
rach 43: 22. Matt. 24: 20. When the sky is serene and tranquil 
and the sun is unclouded, the heat in the vallies and plains is some- 
times great, as Josephus expressly testifies in regard to the plain of 
Cesarea near the sea. Thunder, lightning, and hail are frequent. ; 
the brooks are filled ; the rivers are swollen ; the fields are cov- 
ered with flowers. As January departs and February enters, the 
grain fields flourish ; the trees put forth their foliage ; the amyg- 
dalus, the earliest tree of the forest, is in bloom about the middle 
of February. 

Finally, the sixth part of the year, from the middle of February 
to the middle of April, is called "vp or cold, because in the com- 
mencement of it the weather is still cold, though it soon grows 
warm and even hot. The rains still continue, but are diminished ; 
thunder and lightning and hail are frequent, though they cease to- 
wards the end of this season. The rain during this season is call- 
ed the latter rain. 

The first rain, or autumnal, and the latter, or vernal, are neces- 
sary to the fertility of the earth, and greatly to be desired, Lev. 
26: 4. Deut. 8: 7. 11: 14, 17. Isa. 30: 23. Jerem. 3: 3. 5: 24. 
Hosea6:3. Joel 2: 3. Zech. 10: 1. Job 29: 23. Prov. 16: 15. 
25: 14. James 5: 7. Rains in those regions are cold, and 
are announced by previous whirlwinds, raising the dust, which 
are expressed, by Arabic words, which mean messengers, and 
good messengers or tidings, Koran, 7: 55. 77: 1 — 3. By the 
Hebrews they are sometimes called the word or the command of 
God, ^ n^fttf , 'ni'? Ps. 147: 15, 18. The north and west wind 
in particular indicate rain, 1 Kings 18 : 42 — 45. Prov. 25 : 23. 
If the evening be red, the morrow is expected to be serene ; if the 
morning be red, rain is expected. Matt. 16: 2. 


The fertility of soil, so celebrated by Moses, is confirmed by the 
testimony of all, who have visited this region. Even the unculti- 



vated and desert tracts are not destitute of rich spots, although 
they have comparatively but a small claim to the praise of fertili- 
ty. If the untilled and waste places at the present day afford no 
very prepossessing appearance, it ought to be remembered, that 
they were predicted by Moses, Deut. 29: 22, et seq. and that the 
country has been laid waste successively by Assyrians, Chaldeans, 
Syrians, Romans, Saracens, the European crusaders, the Turks, 
and Moguls ; and that it now groans under the dominion of the 
Turks, who neither protect the agriculturalist from the incursions 
of the Arabs, nor afford him any encouragement, but the contra- 
ry. And yet it is the unanimous testimony of travellers in regard to 
this country, that, where it is cultivated, it is extremely fertile. 
It produces all sorts of fruit-trees ; and vines are not wanting, al- 
though the Mahometans do not drink wine. There are abund- 
ance of domesticated animals, of wild beasts, and birds. Josephus, 
Jewish War, B. III. c. 3. § 3, praises Perea, (which at the present 
time is a desert,) for its vines and its palm trees : and particular- 
ly celebrates the region near the lake Gennesareth, also the 
plain of Jericho, which are now uninhabited and desolate, B. 
III. c. 10. § 8. B. IV. c. 8. § 3. Indeed, we are informed by Jo- 
sephus, that in Galilee there were 204 cities and towns, that the 
Lrgest of the cities had 150,000, and the smallest towns 15,000 inhab- 
itants. Hence we can account for it, that Josephus himself in this 
small province, short of 40 miles long and 30 broad, collected an 
army of nearly an 100,000 men, J. War. B. II. c. 20. § 6. As so 
many people were collected in such a small extent of country, it is 
clear, that the arts and commerce must have been patronized, 
and consequently the sciences ; which leaves us to conclude, that 
the miracles of Jesus were performed in a country, where they 
could be examined and fairly discussed. The reproach, which 
is cast upon Galilee in John 7: 52, has no reference to the char- 
acter of its soil or climate, but only to the fact, that the prophet 
or Messiah was not to be expected from that part of Palestine. 

Note. — There is an intimation in Deut. 8: 9, that there were 
mines in Palestine, but we do not any where learn, that they were 
wrought by the Hebrews. The author of the book of Job men- 
tions mines, in the commencement of his 28th chapter, but it is 
not certain, that he has reference to Palestine ; and a very general 
mention is made of them in Ps. 95: 4, Isa. 51: 1. It is a well-known 


fact, that mines, at a comparatively recent period, were wrought 
at Sarepta, a city of Phenicia. Scanty as our information is in re- 
gard to their mines, there is, nevertheless, reason to believe, that 
the Hebrews understood metallurgy, or the art of smelting ores ; 
for we find mention made of an iron furnace, ^T'laH , Deut. 
4: 20. 1 Kgs. 8: 51. Jer. 11: 4; otherwise called the furnace of 
silver ore, i.e. a furnace for refining silver-ore, tP:PD "tfS, 

Ezek. 22: 18 — 22; called also the gold furnace, SnT *V&, i. e.'a 
furnace for refining gold, Prov. 17: 3. 27: 21. The word JtfD or 
2*6 , a metallurgical expression, means, (1.) a sort of unrefined ore, 
which, when melted, is employed in glazing earthen vessels, Prov. 
26: 23; (2.) it means also alloy or metal of a meaner sort, which, 
by melting them together, was artificially combined with gold and 
silver, Ps. 119: 119. Prov. 25: 4. Isa. 1: 22, 25. Ezek. 22: 18, 

"Fullers' soap," rT'nb , which was employed not only in wash- 
ing garments, but in cleansing gold and silver from the dross, was 
well known, Mai. 3: 2. Jer. 2: 22. 


I. It is often afflicted with the pestilence, which enters from 
Egypt and other countries, and is frequently spoken of in the Bi- 

II. Earthquakes are common ; see Abdollatif. Denkwiird. Ae- 
gypt. p. 335, et seq. The city of Jerusalem rarely received any 
detriment from this source, Ps. 46: 3, et seq. The earthquakes, by 
which the country, with the exception of Jerusalem, was so often 
shaken and laid waste, were a source of images to the prophets, by 
which any scenes of destruction and overthrow were represented, 
Ps. 60: 2, 3. Isa. 29: 6. 54: 10. Jer. 4: 24. Hag. 2: 6, 22. Matt. 
24: 7. 

III. Thunder, lightning, hail, inundations, and severe winds hap- 
pen in the winter, Isa. 11: 15. Pliny, Histor. Nat. ii. 49. Shaw's 
Travels, p. 289. From these operations of nature, the prophets 
borrowed many figures, Ps. 18: 8—15. 29: 1—10. 42: 7. Isa. 5: 
30. 8: 7, 8. 11: 15. 28: 2. 29: 6. 24: 18. Matt. 7: 25. 

IV. Vast bodies of migrating locusts, n:nnN , called by the Orien- 
tals the armies of God, lay waste the country. They observe as 


regular order, when they march, as an army. At evening they 
descend from their flight, and form, as it were, their camps. In the 
morning, when the sun has risen considerably, they ascend again, if 
they do not find food, and fly in the direction of the wind, Prov. 30: 
27. Nah. 3: 16, 17. They go in immense numbers, Isa. 46: 23, and 
occupy a space of 10 or 12 miles in length, and 4 or 5 in breadth, and 
are so deep, that the sun cannot penetrate through them ; so that 
they convert the day into night, and bring a temporary darkness on 
the land, Joel 2: 2, 10. Exod. 10: 15. The sound of their wings is 
terrible, Joel 2: 2. When they descend upon the earth, they 
cover avast tract a foot and a half high, Joel 1: 5. 2: 11. Judg. 6: 
5. 7: 12. Exod. 10: 15. If the air is cold and moist, or if they 
be wet with the dew, they remain where they happen to be 
till they are dried and warmed by the sun, Nahum 3: 17. They 
decamp at length in good order and march almost in a direct line 
north. Nothing stops them. They fill the ditches which are dug 
to stop them with their bodies, and extinguish by their numbers 
the fires, which are kindled. They pass over walls and enter 
the doors and windows of houses, Joel 2: 7 — 9. They devour 
every thing which is green, strip diT the bark of trees, and even 
break them to pieces by their weight, Exod. 10: 12, 15. Joel 1: 
4, 7, 10, 12, 16, 18, 20. 2: 3. They make a loud noise when 
eating, Jer. 51: 14. The greatest part of the evil is, that the 
first army of locusts is likely to be succeeded by another, a third, 
and a fourth, which consume all that is left, and leave the ground 
in appearance, as if it had been burnt over with fire. When they 
have consumed every thing, they fly away in the direction of the 
wind, leaving behind them not only their foetid excrements, but 
their eggs, buried in the ground, from which is produced in the 
following spring a much more numerous progeny of these evil 
invaders. They are borne, at length, over the sea, an element with 
which they have not formed an acquaintance. They descend up- 
on it, as they do upon the land, and are drowned. They are driv- 
en by the waves upon the shore, where they putrify, and render 
the air so corrupted, as to breed the pestilence, Exod. 10: 13 — 20. 
Joel 2: 20. These locusts are much longer than those among us, 
being 5 or 6 inches long, and an inch and a half thick. The form 
of the head is like that of a horse. Hence they are often com- 
pared to horses. In some instances, it is like the human head, 
Rev. 9: 7. Their teeth are sharp and are compared to those of 



lions, Joel 1: 5. 2: 4. There are different species of them ; eight 
or nine occur in the Bible. 

V. Famine is a consequence of the devastations of the locusts, 
and of the defect of the first and latter rain. Famines have been 
so severe, that, in besieged cities, the inhabitants have been reduc- 
ed to the necessity not only of eating animals, not fit to be eaten, 
but human bodies, Deut. 28: 22—49. 2 Sam. xxi. 2 Kgs. 6: 25, 
28. 25: 3, &c. 

VI. The evil of the greatest magnitude is the wind, called by 
the Arabs Samoom, by the Turks Samyel, and by the Hebrews 
flBybT ,Ps. 11: 6, US ffin, Jer. 4: 11, 1^3 Isa. 4: 4, st? t j?/rn#tp: 
Isa. 27: 8. It blows in Persia, Babylonia, Arabia, and the deserts of 
Egypt, in the months of June, July, and August ; in Nubia, in 
March and April, September, October and November. It con- 
tinues not longer than 7 or 8 minutes ; but it destroys in a moment 
every person, whom it passes, who stands erect. They fall dead, 
and lie like one sleeping. If a person takes hold of their hand, 
to arouse them, it falls off. The body soon after turns black. 
This wind does not extend high in the air, nor descend below the 
altitude of two feet from the earth. Hence travellers, when they 
see it appioaching, commonly fall prone upon the ground ; place 
their feet in the direction of the wind, and apply their mouths as firm- 
ly as possible to the earth, breathing as little as they can, lest they 
should receive into their lungs any of the passing Samoom. The 
indications of the Samyel's approach are distant clouds, slightly 
tinged with red, in appearance something like the rainbow ; also 
a rushing noise ; of the last circumstance, however, some persons 
do not make mention. 

In houses and cities, its power is not felt. Animals, though 
exposed to it, do not perish, but they tremble through all their 
limbs, and instinctively thrust down their heads. The Arabians 
sometimes use the word Samoom in a broader sense, to denote 
any hot wind, which continues for a l@iig lime. In a similar way 
the Hebrews use the word D^p , comp. Ps. 103: 15, 16, &c. 

§ 24. Division of Palestine among the Israelites. 

The Hebrews, having taken the country by arms, divided it 
among the twelve tribes. The posterity of Joseph, it is true, had 



been divided into two, those of Ephraim and Manasseh, but the 
tribe of Levi received only 48 cities for its portion, which left 
twelve tribes, among whom the main body of the country was to 
be divided. 

The region beyond the Jordan was assigned by Moses to the 
tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, Deut. 
3: 12—27. Jos. 12: 1—6. 13: 8—33. The southern part of this 
tract was allotted to Reuben ; it was bounded on the east and south 
by the river Arnon, on the borders of which river were situated 
the Ammonites to the east, and the Moabites to the south ; the 
western limit was the Dead Sea and the Jordan. The tract of 
country called Gilead, in the more limited sense of the word, ex- 
tending north of Reuben to the lake Gennesareth, became the por- 
tion of the tribe of Gad. The remainder, which was the northern 
portion on the further or eastern side of the Jordan, fell to the half 
tribe of Manasseh. 

The remaining nine and a half tribes took up their abode on 
this, i. e. the western, side of the Jordan. The territory allotted 
to Judah was the tract, which runs from the southern boundary 
of Palestine in a northern direction, as far as the entrance of the 
Jordan into the Dead Sea, the valley of Hinnom, and the northern 
limits of the city Ekron, Jos. 15: 1 — 15. As this portion, in a 
subsequent division of the country, was too large, a <;ract was set 
off on the western side of it towards the Mediterranean, the sou- 
thern part of which was allotted to the tribe of Simeon, and the 
northern to that of Dan. The limits of these two tribes are not 
denned ; the cities merely, which they obtained, are mentioned. 
Jos. 15: 2—1:3. 19: 1—9, 40—47. This part of Palestine 
was divided, according to the face of the country, into 5*3 or 
the southern district, £&B8?n or the Plain bordering on the Medi- 
terranean sea, the mountain or the hill-country of Judah, and 
the Desert of Judah, Jos. 11: 16. Luke 1: 39. To these the pro- 
phet Jeremiah ' adds the following geographical divisions, viz. Me 
land of Benjamin, and the Country round about Jerusalem, but he 
has reference to a period after the separation of Israel, Jer. 32: 44. 
33: 13. 

[The canton, allotted to the tribe of Benjamin, lay between the 
tribes of Judah and Joseph, contiguous to Samaria on the north, 
to Judah on the south, and to Dan on the west, which last parted 
it from the Mediterranean.] Home's Introduc. vol. iii. p. 12. 



The tribe of Ephraim received the tract, extending to the north 
of Benjamin as far as the Brook of Reeds, Jos. 16: 1 — 4,8. 17: 
7 — 10. By the same lot, the second half of the tribe of Manasseh 
received its portion, the limits of which cannot, therefore, be ac- 
curately defined, Jos. 16: 4. 17: 9. It is clear, however, that the 
tribe of Manasseh come north of Ephraim and the Brook of Reeds, 
and, though on the east it fell short of the Jordan, that it extended 
on the west as far as the Mediterranean, Jos. 17: 10. 

The tribe of Issachar, which was situated north of the half tribe 
of Manasseh, obtained for its inheritance the plain of Jezreel. It 
extended south along the Jordan as far as the tribe of Ephraim. 

Its northern limit was mount Tabor, but it does not appear to 
have reached to the Mediterranean, Jos. 17: 10. 19: 17 — 23. 

The canton of Asher extended from Carmel or the boundary 
line, by which the half tribe of Manasseh was limited on the west, 
in the first instance in a northern direction along the shores of the 
Mediterranean, and then along the borders of Phenicia to the city 
Apheca, Jos. 19: 24—31. 

The tribe of Zebulun was situated east of Asher and north of 
Issachar, and extended as far as the egress of the Jordan from lake 
Gennesareth, Jos. 19: 10 — 15. Matt. 4: 13. 

The remainder of Palestine was allotted to the tribe of Naph- 
tali; this canton was bounded by the tribes of Asher and Zebulun, 
the lake Gennesareth, the Jordan, and the northern line of the 
whole kingdom, where, however, a colony of Danites took up their 
residence in the city of Lais, afterwards called Dan, Jos. 19: 32 — 
39. Judg. xviii. 

After the death of Solomon a contention arose and the whole 
country was divided into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. The 
boundary line between them was the northern limit of the tribe of 

§ 25. Division of Palestine in the time of Christ. 

In the time of Christ the country on the western side of the Jor- 
dan was divided into three principal provinces. 

1. Galilee. By this name, which occurs a number of times in 
Joshua, and at a later period very often, is meant the territory, 
which is surrounded by Phenicia, Syria, Jordan, the lake Gen- 



nesareth, and the plain of Jezreel. It is in the north of Palestine, 
and was divided into lower or southern, and northern or upper Gal- 
ilee. The latter section was denominated Galilee of the Gentiles, 
FuXdaia to>v i&vwv, fi^ijrn , Jos. 12: 23. 20: 7. Matt. 4: 15. 

II. Samaria ; it was situated nearly in the centre of Palestine, 
but, though it ran across the country, it did not extend down to 
the Mediterranean. It reached from Ginea and Scythopolis on 
one side, to Acrabatene and Annuath on the other, John iv. 

III. Judea, which comprehended Idumea as far as the town of 
Jardan in Arabia Petrea, and also the shore of the Mediterranean 
as far as Ptolemais, was surrounded by Samaria, the Jordan, the 
Dead Sea/ Arabia Petrea, and the Mediterranean. Josephus, Jew. 
War, Bk. III. ch. 3. 

In Perea or the country beyond the Jordan, that is, on the 
eastern side of it, were eight provinces or cantons. 

I. Perea, in the more limited signification of the word, viz., 
the southern part of the whole district, extending from the river 
Arnon to the river Jabbok. 

II. Gilead, situated north of the Jabbok. 

III. Decapolis, or the district of ten cities, which were inhab- 
ited chiefly by the heathen or gentiles. Their names were as fol- 
lows ; Scythopolis, which lies west of the Jordan, Hippos and .Ga- 
dara, Pella, Philadelphia, Dion, Canath, Gerasa, Raphana, and 
perhaps Damascus ; in the enumeration of the ten cities of this 
district, however, ancient historians are not agreed, see Pliny H. 
N. Lib. V. c. 18. Mark 5: 1. Luke 8: 26. Matt. 8:23. 

IV. Gaulonitis, a tract extending on the eastern shore of the 
lake Gennesareth and the Jordan as far as Hermon. 

V. Batanea, the ancient Bashan, though somewhat diminish- 
ed in its limits. It lies to the east of Gaulonitis and the north 
of Gilead. 

VI. Auranitis, formerly Chauran or Chavran. |H*(rj , Ezek. 
47: 16 — 18, also called Iturea, was situated to the north of Batanea 
and to the east of Gaulonitis, Luke 3: 1. 

VII. Trachonitis, to the north of Auranitis and to the east of 
Paneas otherwise called Cesarea Philippi, by which it was sepa- 
rated from Galilee ; it was celebrated for its caves, which were 
inhabited in the time of Herod. 

VIII. Abilene, on the northern limits of this territory, situated 



between Baalbec and Damascus from lat. 33° 30' to 33° 40' ; it 
was called also Abilene Lysanias, from the robber Lysanias, who 
purchased it from the Romans. Luke 3: 1. 


§ 26. The earliest shelters were shady trees and caves. 

As men in the primitive condition of society were unacquaint- 
ed with the arts, they were not of course in a condition to erect 
houses ; they lived, consequently, under the open sky. In un- 
pleasant weather, whether hot or rainy, they sought for a shelter 
under shady trees, in the clefts of rocks, and such caves as they 
happened to discover. Nor are we to suppose, that shelters of 
this kind were altogether inadequate. The inhabitants of mount 
Taurus even to this day, in a climate much more severe than that 
of Palestine, live in caves, as also do the wandering shepherds of 
Arabia Petrea, either in caves and the clefts of rocks, or beneath 
a. the shade of trees. 

§ 27. the more recent troglodytes or dwellers in caves. 

Caves are not only numerous in the East, but many of them are 
both large and dry. They formed convenient dwellings, being 
warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Hence in a com- 
paratively recent age, when dwellings of a different kind were 
commonly resorted to, the caves were still preferred by many, 
especially by those, who had emigrated to distant regions. The 
dwellers in caves whom we find mentioned, at quite a late peri- 
od, were robbers, who had abandoned the restraints of society, 
and were the latest occupants of these abodes. The inhabitants 
of caves and mountains commonly occur in the Old Testament un- 
der the designation of Horites ; in regard to whom we are inform- 
ed more particularly, 



I. Of the inhabitants of mount Seir ; they chiefly occupied 
the mountains of Seir, but were found dwelling as far as Paran in 
Arabia Petrea, Gen. 14: 6. 21: 21. Deut. 2: 12, 22. Num. 10: 12. 
Gen. 36: 20—30. 

II. Of the Rephaims, who in addition to their caverns had some 
fortified cities, and were divided into three tribes, as follows; (1.) 
The Emims, who dwelt in the region, which the Moabites afterwards 
occupied, Deut. 2: 11, 12. (2.) The Zamzummims, men of large 
stature, living in the region, which was afterwards possessed by 
the Ammonites. (3.) The Rephaims, or giants strictly so called, 
who lived in the country of Bashan, were also of large stature, and 
were driven out by the Hebrews, Deut. 2: 10 — 23. 3: 3 — 16. 

III. Of the Troglodytes, or, as the Hebrews denominated 
them, the sons of the caves, tPpa? ^a , called in the English version 
Anakims, Deut. 1:28. 2:10. 9:1,2. The three tribes, into 
which they were divided were, (1.) the Nephilim, Num. 13:33. 
(2.) The clans of Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, Num. 13: 22, 
23. Jos. 14: 15. (3.) The Anakims, inhabiting Debir, Anab, and 
the mountains of Judah, Jos. 11: 21, 22. (4.) The Anakims around 
Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod, 1 Sam. 17: 4. 

Note. — The caves, of which we have spoken, when they had 
become less frequently selected for the abodes of the living, were 
employed as sepulchres for the dead, Gen. xxiii. In times of perse- 
cution and war also, those, which were not converted into ceme- 
teries, nor occupied, as they sometimes were, by hordes of robbers, 
became a refuge to the oppressed and the vanquished, Jos. 10 : 
16. Judg. 15: 8. 20: 45. 1 Sam. 13: 6. 22: 1, et seq. In these 
caves, the necromancers sometimes practised their inauspicious 
arts, and the beasts of the forest found a dwelling place, 1 Sam. 
28: 8—24. 

§ 28. Tabernacles. 

As caves could not always be readily found, and as it was some- 
times great labor to excavate one, men were compelled by the 
exigencies of their situation, to form some other sort of residence. 
The shady trees and tall shrubs, whose tops approached each other 
and were twisted together, suggested the plan of cutting down 


§ 29. ON TENTS. 

large branches, fixing them into the ground in parallel lines, binding 
them together at the top, and covering them with leaves, herbs, 
reeds, branches, and even broad flat stones, in order to shield 
themselves from the cold, the heat, and the dew. Thus they 
built tabernacles, huts, or lodges, in Heb. J-OD . The Romans 
called them Mappalia. They were small and low in the begin- 
ning, so that a person could not stand erect, but was obliged either 
to lie down or to sit, but afterwards were built higher. 

The use of these tabernacles did not cease, even after the 
erection of more stable and convenient dwellings. They were fre- 
quently made, sometimes from necessity, sometimes for convenience, 
and sometimes for pleasure, and are to this day erected in the 
summer among the wandering tribes or Nomades of Mesopotamia. 
A collection of such tabernacles is called in Heb. ni^n and rtTHS • 
The word ri"i v O is used, however, for uncovered sheep-cotes, 
towers, castles, and turrets, Gen. 33: 17. Ps. 27: 5. Jon. 4 : 5. 
Matt. 17: 4. Gen. 25: 16. Ezek. 25: 4. 1 Chron. 6: 54. Num. 31: 
10. Cant. 8: 9. 

§ 29. On Tents. 

As tabernacles, which could not readily be moved from place 
to place, and from a want of materials could not every where be 
built, were made partly of skins, the design arose of erecting a 
shelter wholly of skins extended round a long pole, and so light, as 
to be easily moved from one place to another. It was tents of 
this kind, we may suppose, which Jabal invented, Gen. 4: 20. 
In the progress of years they were no longer covered with skins, 
but with various kinds of cloth, particularly linen. The Nomades 
of the east still use them. They pitch them in any place, which 
appears suitable, but they give the preference to a spot near some 
shady tree, Gen. 18: 4. Judg. 4: 5. 


The first tents, which were made, were undoubtedly round in 
their construction, and small in size ; afterwards they were made 
larger and oblong* The "Nomades of Arabia Petrea have two 
kinds, the one larger, the other smaller, Gen. 33: 17. 


They call the former kind, in distinction from the smaller 
ones, baiton or houses. The smaller tents are sustained by three 
poles only, and covered with a fabric, woven of wool and camel's 
hair ; the large ones are sustained sometimes by seven, and some- 
times by nine poles. The three longest of these poles, whether 
seven or nine in number, are erected in the middle, and on each 
side of the middle row are placed 2 or 3 others parallel, though 
shorter much than those between them ; they are covered with a 
black cloth made of goat's hair. Tne poleiin the middle is taller than 
any of the rest, though it rarely exceeds 8 or 10 feet. The Ara- 
bians take a pleasure in pitching their tents on hills, in such a 
way, as to form a sort of circular encampment. When thus pitch- 
ed, being of a dark hue, they exhibit a beautiful appearance to 
the distantly approaching travellers, Cant. 1:5. The flocks and 
cattle during the night are driven into the space in the centre 
of the encampment called , and guarded by dogs, Job 30: 1. 
Some one of the shepherds keeps watch also during the night, a 
duty, which is performed alternately, Isa. 56: 9 — 11. The tent 
of the Emir is pitched in the centre of the others, which are about 
30 paces distant, and is both larger and higher. The Emir has 
a number of tents in addition to the one appropriated to himself; 
viz, one for the females of his family, one for his servants, and 
a third, covered with green cloth for the reception of those, who 
wish to see him on business or come to render him their homage. 
On the same principle are arranged the tents of the subordinate 
Emirs when in the company of a superior Emir or chief, at some 
distance, it is true, but as D'Arvieux testifies, not exceeding 4£ 

§ 31. Internal structure of tents. 

The larger kind of tents are divided by curtains into three parts, 
as was done also in the holy tabernacle. In the external divi- 
sion or apartment the servants lodge, and during the night the 
young animals also, to prevent their sucking the dam. In the sec- 
ond apartment are the males, but if the tent be smaller than usu- 
al, all the males of the tent, together with the animals just men- 
tioned, are lodged together. The third or interior apartment, 
called i-Dp, , is allotted to the women, Num. 25: 8. The more 


§ 32. HOUSES. 

wealthy assign the external apartment to the servants alone, ex- 
cluding animals; and the Emirs, as already stated, have separate 
tents both for the servants and the females, Gen. 24: 67. The 
Nomades, who are less jealous, than the inhabitants of the cities, 
watch the other sex less scrupulously, Gen. 12: 15. IS: 6 — 9, 
34: 1, 2. 

The bottom of the tent is either covered with mats or with car- 
pets according to the wealth of the possessor, and upon these they 
are in the habit of sitting. The more wealthy of the Nomades, 
especially the Emirs, possess in addition, coverlets, pillows, &c. 
made of valuable materials ; these are piled up in one corner of 
the tent by day, and brought upon the bottom of it at night. The 
utensils of the Nomades are few ; they have vessels of shell and 
brass, viz, pots, kettles, and cups of brass covered elegantly with 
tin, also leathern bags. Their hearth is on the grouud. It con- 
sists of three stones, placed so as to form a triangle. In the mid- 
dle of them is a small excavation of the earth, where the fire is 
kindled ; the vessels are placed over it upon the stones. The ta- 
ble, if so it may be called, from which they eat, is nothing more 
than a round skin spread upon the bottom of the tent. Clothing 
and military arms are hung upon nails in the poles of the tent. 

§ 32. Houses. 

In the progress of time, as tabernacles became larger and were 
defended against the injuries of the weather by broad stones and 
earth heaped up against them, it was found, that dwellings could 
be made of stones alone and moist earth or clay. A want of stones 
in some places gave occasion for the formation of tiles, which were 
made by reducing a body of clay to shape and hardening it in the 
sun or burning it in the fire. These ancient attempts are mentioned, 
Gen. 11:3. 6: 16. In Deut. 8: 12, mention is made of elegant 
houses, and in 27: 2, 4, the use of limestone is spoken of, as if it 
were common and well known. 

§ 33. Size of Houses. 

Houses at first were small, afterwards larger ; especially in 
extensive cities, the capitals of empires. The art of multiplying 
stories in a building is very ancient, as we may gather from the 



construction of Noah's ark and the tower of Babel. The houses 
in Babylon, according to Herod. Lib. I, § 180, were 3 and 4 stories 
high, and those in Thebes or Diospolis in Egypt, 4 or 5 stories ; 
consult Diod. Sic. Lib. I. c. 45. They appear to have been low 
in Palestine in the time of Joshua ; an upper story, although it may 
have existed, is not mentioned, till a more recent age. Jeremiah 
praises houses of good form and architecture, and calls them Tia , 
rn^E Jer. 22: 14. The houses of the rich and powerful in the time 
of Christ were splendid, and were built according to the rules of 
Grecian architecture. 

§ 34. Form and roof of houses. 

Many of the larger houses were tetragonal in form, and enclos- 
ed a square area. They were lately denominated by a word of 
Persian origin StV©* ficcgug a palace, which according to Jerome, 
in whose time it was still used, signifies enclosed houses, built with 
turrets and walls. The roofs of the houses were flat, such as are 
still seen in the east. They were formed of earth heaped togeth- 
er, or in the houses of the rich, of a firmly constructed flooring, 
made of coals broken up, stones, ashes, chalk and gypsum, reduc- 
ed to a solid substance by the application of blows. The declivi- 
ty of the roof from the centre to the extremity is very small, hard- 
ly an inch in 10 feet. On those roofs, which are covered with 
earth, herbs sometimes spring up, and spears of wheat and barley, 
but they soon perish with the heat of the sun. The orientals of- 
ten ascend these roofs, to enjoy a purer air, to secure a wider pros- 
pect, or to witness any event which happens in the neighbourhood. 
In the summer they sleep upon them, but not without a cover- 
ing. They even erect tents and tabernacles upon them ; they 
also spread their flax and cotton there to be dried by the sun. 
They ascend their roofs, moreover, to talk with a person privately, 
to witness a public solemnity, to mourn publicly, and to announce 
any thing to the multitude, to pray to God, and to perform sacrifices. 
2 Sam. 11: 2, 6, 7. Is. 22: 1. Matt. 24: 17. Mark 13: 15. 2 Sam. 16: 
22. Jos. 2: 6. 1 Sam. 9: 25. Judg. 16:26, 27. Is. 15:3. Jer. 19: 13. 
48: 38. Matt. 10: 27. Acts 10: 9. The roofs are surrounded by a 
breast work or wall, to prevent one from falling, which is as high as 
the breast. On the side next a neighbour's house, it is lower, in 



order, that, if the houses are near and of the same altitude, the oc- 
cupants may pass from one to the other. The railing or wall of 
the roof, ftj&fc , was required by a law of Moses, Deut. 22: 8. It 
was this railing which the men demolished, Mark 2: 4. Luke 5: 
19, that they might let the paralytic down into the court or area of 
the house. 

§ 35. The gate, porch, area or court, female apartments. 
The gate or door, opening to the streets, is in the middle of the 

front side of the house. Hence in Arabic it is called il**^ or the 
centre. The gates not only of houses, but of cities, were customa- 
rily adorned with the inscription, which according to Deut. 6: 9. 
11: 20, was to be extracted from the law of Moses ; a practice in 
which may be found the origin of the modern Mezuzaw, or piece 
of parchment, inscribed with Deut. 6: 5 — 9. 11: 13 — 20, and fasten- 
ed to the door-post. The gates were always shut, and one of 
the servants acted the part of a porter, Acts 12: 13. John 18: 16, 17. 

The space immediately inside of the gate is called the porch, 
is square, and on one side of it is erected a seat for the accommo- 
dation of those strangers, who are not to be admitted into the in- 
terior of the house. In this porch, or contiguous to it, are the 
stairs which lead to the upper stories and the roof of the house, 
Matt. 24: 16, 17. 

From the porch we are introduced, through a second door, 
into the quadrangular area or Court, which is denominated 
, to iitoov, the centre, 2 Sam. 17: 18. Luke 5: 19. 
The court is commonly paved with marble of various kinds. In 
the centre of it, if the situation of the place admits, there is a 
fountain. The court is generally surrounded on all sides, some- 
times, however, only on one, with a cloister, peristyle or covered 
walk, "O^ft , over which, if the house have more than one story, is 
a gallery of the same dimensions, supported by columns, Heb. 
fc^Tlft? , and protected by a balustrade, fillip, to prevent one 
from falling, 2 Kings 1: 2. Hence occur so many allusions to col- 
umns, Ps. 75: 3. Prov. 9: 1. Gal. 2: 9. 1 Tim. 3: 15. Large com- 
panies are received into the court, as at nuptials, circumcisions, &c. 
Esther 1 : 5. Luke 5: 19. On such occasions, a large veil of thick 
cloth is extended by ropes over the whole of it to exclude the 
heat of the sun ; which is practised at the present day, Ps. 104: 2. 



The veil or curtain of the area is called in the New Testament 
OTt'yrj, Luke 7: 6. Mark 2: 4. 

The back part of the house is allotted to the women, called in 
Arabic the Harem, and in Hebrew by way of eminence "p73"]&f or 
the palace. The door is almost always kept locked, and 
is opened only to the master of the house, 2 Kings 15: 25. Prov. 
18: 19. White eunuchs guard the door externally, but maids and 
black eunuchs only are permitted to serve within. The latter 
are great favourites with their masters, Isa. 32: 14. Jer. 13: 23. 
2 Kings 15: 25. The Harem of the more powerful is often 
a separate building, 1 Kings 7: 8. 2 Chron. 8: 11. Esth. 2: 3. Be- 
hind the Harem there is a garden, into which the women enjoy the 
pleasure of looking from their small but lofty apartments. In the 
smaller houses, which are not made in a quadrangular form, the 
females occupy the upper story. This is the place assigned them 
also by Homer in the Iliad and Odyssey. 

§ 36. Chambers and other apartments. 

The chambers are large and spacious, and so constructed, as to 
extend round the whole of the open court or area. The doors of 
the chambers, Q^hns , frns, open in the first story into the clois- 
ters, in the second into the gallery. The ceiling is flat ; some say 
arched, but arches do not appear to have been known at a very 
early period. We search in vain for arches among the ruins of 
ancient edifices ; perhaps they have perished with years, but they 
do not remain. We infer therefore that 33 in Ezekiel 16: 24, 31, 
39, cannot with certainty ^be translated, arch or vault. 

The Hebrews at a very ancient date had not only summer and 
winter rooms, but palaces, Judges 3: 20. 1 Kings 7:2 — 6. Amos 3: 
15. Jeremiah 36: 32. The houses, or palaces so called, expressly 
made for summer, were very large, and in point of altitude did not 
yield much to our churches. 

The lower stories were frequently under ground. The front 
of these buildings faced the north, so as to secure the advantage 
of the breezes, which in summer blow from that direction. They 
were paved with marble, and when it could be done, had a foun- 
tain in the centre of the court, in order to render them still more 
cool. They were supplied with a current of fresh air by means 



of ventilators, which consisted of perforations made through the up- 
per part of the northern wall, of considerable diameter externally, 
but diminishing, in size, as they approached the inside of the wall. 
There was another kind of ventilator, which arose from the centre 
of the roof, was 10 cubits broad, and looked like a turret. It was 
hollow and open to the north, and so constructed as to convey the 
cool air into the chambers and rooms below. Summer houses and 
chambers are called in Scripture, B^tWlO nrbs and mptt n*bs, 
Judg. 3: 20, 24. Jer. 22: 14. 

One apartment worthy of notice extends from the interior of 
the front side into the court, sometimes a considerable distance 
beyond the galleries and cloisters. Its roof is supported by two 
columns only, and the front of it has no wall, in order to leave the 
prospect more free. In this apartment princes receive ambassa- 
dors, transact business, and dispense justice. The temple of Da- 
gon, which was destroyed by Samson, was similar, as far as con- 
cerned the columns, in its construction. It was here that the Sa- 
viour seems to have had his trial, Judg. 16: 26. Matt. 26: 69. Luke 
22: 61, 62. compare also 1 Kings 7: 7. Esther 5: 1. In the win- 
ter rooms and houses, the windows face the south, in order to ren- 
der them more warm. They are not furnished with stoves and 
fire-places as among us. The coals and wood are heaped into a 
pot, which is placed in a hollow place left for that purpose in the 
centre of the paved floor. The smoke escapes through the win- 
dows. This method of keeping fires is still practised in the East, 
Isa. 44: 16. 47: 14. Sometimes the fire is placed directly in the 
hollow place or hearth in the middle of the floor, Jer. 36: 22. 

All the rooms of the upper story may be called ftjV? and vns- 
qowv, but these words apply more appropriately to the chamber 
over the porch. It opens by a door directly upon the roof, being 
commonly a story higher than the rest part of the house. It is a 
place for retirement, devotion, &,c. Strangers are frequently lodg- 
ed in it, 1 Kings 17: 19. 2 Kings 4: 10. 23: 12. Acts 9: 37—39. 

Note. There is no mention made of kitchens, or places for 
cooking, Heb. nib&ntt , except in Ezek. 46: 23, 24. Chimneys, 
for the emission of smoke, were not known to the Hebrews. Those 
of modern construction are the invention of the 14th century. 
The Hebrews, however, like the modern orientals, had openings 


in their houses, by which the smoke might escape. The word 
na^N is rightly explained by Jerome, in Hosea 13: 3, as an open- 
ing in the walls for letting out smoke, although, in other passages, it 
signifies an opening of any kind whatever, and especially a win- 

§ 37. Doors ; and methods of securing them. 

The doors were valves, Heb. tfeir , t^nb? . They were sus- 
pended and moved by means of pivots of wood, which projected 
from the ends of the two folds both above and below. The upper 
pivots, which were the longest, were inserted in sockets sufficiently 
large to receive them in the lintel, the lower ones were secured, 
in a correspondent manner in the threshold. The pivots or axles 
are called ni nb ; the sockets, in which they are inserted, t3 n "}"»il , 
Prov. 26: 14. The doors were fastened by a lock, bWttj Sol. 
Song 5: 5, or by a bar, Job 38: 10. Deut. 3: 5. Judges 16: '3. The 
bars were commonly of wood. Those made of iron and brass 
were not used, except as a security to the gates of fortified places, 
or of valuable repositories, Isa. 45: 2. The lock was nothing 
more than a wood slide, attached to one of the folds, which enter- 
ed into a hole in the door-post, and was secured there by teeth cut 
into it, or catches. Two strings passed through an orifice leading 
to the external side of the door. A man going out by the aid of 
one of these strings moved the slide into its place in the post, 
where it was fastened so among the teeth or catches, as not to be 
drawn back. The one coming in, who wished to unlock, had a 
wooden key, sufficiently large, and crooked like a sickle. It was 
called ftP]£E , Judges 3: 25. He thrust the key through the ori- 
fice of the door, or key-hole, lifted up the slide so as to extricate 
it from the catches, and taking hold of the other string, drew it 
back, and thus entered. Keys were not made of metal except for 
the rich and powerful, and these were sometimes adorned with an 
ivory handle. A key of this kind, in the days of the Hebrew mon- 
archs, was assigned to the steward of the royal palace, as a mark 
of his office ; he carried it on his shoulder, Isa. 22: 22. The 
key-hole was sometimes so large, as to admit a person's finger 
through it and enable him to lift the slide ; in that case he stood 
in no absolute need of a key to enter, Sol. Song 5: 4. 


§ 38. Windows ; jjhajfctf , friiih , ^fi . 

They look from the front chambers into the court, from the 
female apartments into the garden behind the house. Occasional- 
ly the traveller sees a window, which looks towards the street, 
but it is guarded by a trellis, and is thrown open only on the pub- 
lic festivities, Judges 5: 28. Prov. 7: 6. 2 Kings 9: 30. Sol. Song 2: 
9. The windows are large, extending almost to the floor. Persons 
sitting on the floor can look out at them. They are wide, not set 
with glass, but latticed, ^np, {-Onto, tJ*5*nlT. In the winter they 
are protected by very thin veils, or by valves, through which the 
light is admitted by means of an orifice, 2 Kings 13: 17. 1 Kings 
7: 17. Sol. Song 2: 9. Over the windows are nails fastened into 
the walls. They are adorned with beautiful heads, and not only 
sustain curtains by the aid of a rod extended from one to the other, 
but are of themselves considered a great ornament. Hence the 
propriety of those illustrations drawn from nails, Isa. 22: 23. Zech. 
10: 4. Eccles. 12: 11. 

§ 39. Materials for building. 

Although the materials for the construction of edifices were 
originally stone and mud, the inhabitants of the East at a very ear- 
ly period made use of tiles, and do to this day. They are called 
in scripture D^ib , ttaab , from the white clay of which they were 
made. They were of different sizes, somewhat larger than those 
among us. Commonly they were hardened by the heat of the 
sun merely, but when intended for splendid edifices, as in Gen. 11: 
3, they were burnt by fire, fSpE a brick-kiln, occurs 2 Sam. 12: 
31. Nahum 3: 14. Jer. 43: 3. The walls of the common dwell- 
ing houses were erected of tiles dried in the sun upon a founda- 
tion of stone, but where the ground was solid, a basement of this 
kind was sometimes omitted, Matt. 7: 25. Dwelling houses, made of 
tiles dried in the sun, seldom endure longer than one generation. 
They fill the streets with mud in wet weather, and with dust, 
when it is dry, Isa. 5: 24. 10: 6. Zech. 9: 3. Vehement storms, 
especially, injure them very much, Matt. 7: 25. Ezek. 12: 5 — 7. 
13: 11, 14. 

In Palestine the houses were every where built of stones, of 



which there were great numbers in that region. Hence Moses, 
Lev. 14: 33 — 57, enacted his law in respect to the leprosy of hous- 
es. From the indications of it, which are mentioned, and also 
from the name n^Ntttt HJfiSj , or the corrosive leprosy, it would 
seem, that it could be no other, than nitrous acid, which dissolves 
stones, and communicates its corrosive action to those which are 
contiguous. Wherever this disease makes its appearance, its de- 
structive effects are discovered upon the surface of the wall, it 
renders the air of the room corrupt, and is injurious both to the 
dress and the health of the inhabitants. The Hebrews probably 
supposed it to be contagious, and hence in their view the necessity 
of those severe laws, which were enacted in reference to it. 

Palaces were constructed of hewn stones, rPU *|&M , some- 
times with stones sawed, rTHASa rn-T^iJO tr^al* , sometimes with 
polished marble. The were ail called, rPtt *»na , 1 Kings 6: 36. 
7: 9, II, 12. Ezek. 40: 42. 1 Chron. 22: % Isa' 9: 10. Amos 5: 
11. Sol. Song 5: 15. 

The Persians took great delight in marble. To this not only 
the ruins of Persepolis testify, but the book of Esther, where 
mention is made of white marble, tbijj or UT^, of red marble, *yt , 
of black marble, rnjnb, of the party-coloured or veined marble, 
t2Ji3 . The splendour and magnificence of an edifice seems to have 
been estimated in a measure, by the size of the square stones, of 
which it was constructed, 1 Kings 7: 9 — 12. The foundation 
stone, which was probably placed at the corner and thence called 
the corner stone, was an object of particular regard, and was se- 
lected with great care from among the others, Ps. 118: 22. Isa. 
28: 16. Matt. 21: 42. Acts 4: 11. 2 Tim. 2: 19. 1 Pet. 2: 6. Rev. 
21: 14. 

The square stones in buildings, as far as we can ascertain from 
the ruins, which yet remain, were held together, not by mortar 
or cement of any kind, except indeed a very little might have 
been used, but by cramp irons. The tiles dried in the sun were 
at first united by mud placed between them, Ifth, afterwards by 
lime T^ia , mixed with sand, bin , to form mortar, tibft. The last 
sort of cement was used with burnt tiles, Lev. 14: 41, 42. Jer. 
43: 9. 

The walls even in the time of Moses were commonly incrust- 
ed with a coat of plaster, Lev. 14: 41, 42, 45, and at the present 


day in the East, the incrustations of this kind are of the finest ex- 
ecution ; such was that in the palace of the Bahylonian king, Dan. 
5: 5. Wood was used in the construction of doors and gates, of 
the folds and lattices of windows, of the flat roofs, and of the 
wainscoting, with which the walls were ornamented. Beams were 
inlaid in the walls, to which the wainscoting was fastened by nails 
to render it more secure, Ezra 6: 4. Houses finished in this man- 
ner were called Hagg. 1: 4. Jer. 22: 14, ceiled hou- 
ses and ceiled chambers. They were adorned with figures in 
stucco, with gold, silver, gems, and ivory. Hence the expressions, 
f©in I, FI2 , "jttj ''rS^n , " ivory houses," " ivory palaces," and " cham- 
bers ornamented with ivory," 1 Kings 22: 39. 2 Chron. 3: 6. Ps. 
45: 8. Amos 3: 15. 

The wood which was most commonly used, was the sycamore, 
D^JDp'Oj; (it will last a thousand years;) the acacia, C^CSU? ; the 
palm, ^iEm, for columns and transverse beams; the fir, c^ttji^S ; 
the olive tree, 75323 **agS? ; cedars, t^T^N, which were peculiarly 
esteemed, 1 Kings 6: 18. 7: 3, 7, 11. The most precious of all was 
the Almug tree, so called by an Arabian name, though the wood it- 
self seems to have been brought through Arabia from India, 1 Kings 
10: 11, 12. 2 Chron. 2: 8. 9: 10, 21. Trees not well known, per- 
haps a species of the oak, in Heb. ^irnft "lwtfgft, and STnft, oc- 
cur, Isa. 41: 19. 44: 14. 60: 10. 

§ 40. Household furniture and utensils. 

These in the most ancient periods were both few and simple. 
A hand-mill, and some sort of an oven to bake in, could not of 
course be dispensed with, Levit. 26: 26. Deut. 24: 6. Subsequent- 
ly domestic utensils were multiplied in the form of pots, kettles, 
leathern bottles, plates, cups, and pitchers. 

The floors were covered with mats of carpets, and supplied also 
for the purposes of rest with a sort of mattresses of thick, coarse ma- 
terials, called nrP/OiJ, Judg. 4: 18. 

The bolsters, niftsp/a, which were more valuable, were stuff- 
ed with wool or some soft substance, Ezek. 13: 18, 21. The 
poorer class made use of skins merely, for the purposes to which 
these mattresses and bolsters were applied. The mattresses 
were deposited during the day in a box beside the wall. Beds 


supported by posts are not known in the East, the beds or mattress- 
es being thrown upon the floor. It is common, however, in vil- 
lages, if we may credit Aryda, to see a gallery in one end of 
the room, three or four feet high, where the beds are placed. 
What is now called the Divan, and in Scripture, tttaJQ, tny , 
and , is an elevation running round three sides of the room, 

three feet broad and nine inches high. In the bottom of it 
is a stuffed cushing throughout ; on the back against the wall 
are placed bolsters, covered with elegant cloth. Here the peo- 
ple sit crosslegged, or with their knees bent, on account of the 
small elevation of the Divan. At the corners commonly, at one al- 
ways, there are placed two or three of the bolsters mentioned, made 
of the richest and softest materials. This is accounted the most 
honorable position, and is occupied by the master of the house, ex- 
cept when he yields it to a stranger of distinction. 

The Hebrews appear to have had another sort of beds, which 
occur sometimes under the names, tfj^y , ^t272 , sypft , and are 
said to have been adorned with ivory, an ornament of which the 
Divans just described were not susceptible. These beds resembled 
the Persian settees, (sofas so called,) having a back and sides, 
six feet long, three broad, and like the Divans about nine inches 
high. They were furnished also with bolsters. The sofas, as 
will be readily imagined, were susceptible of ornamental ivory on 
the sides and back, and also on the legs, by which they were sup- 
ported, and although those who sat in them were under the ne- 
cessity of sitting crosslegged or with their knees bent, they were 
of such a length as to answer all the purposes of beds, Amos 6: 4. 
Ps. 41: 3. 132: 3. Those, who were more delicate, had a veil or caul 
"l5pB , xowomelov, which when disposed to sleep, they spread over 
the face to prevent the gnats from infesting them, 2 Kgs. 8: 15. 
The poor, as is common in Asia at this day ; and in the older and 
more simple times, the powerful as well as the poor ; when travel- 
ling, slept at night with their heads supported by a rock, and with 
their cloaks folded up and placed under them for a pillow, Gen. 
28: 11, 18, 22. 

To prevent as much as possible the mats and carpets from be- 
ing soiled, it was not lawful to wear shoes or sandals into the room. 
They were left at the door. Hence it was not necessary, that the 
room should often be swept, Matt. 12: 44. Lamps, ^3 , Xv)>voq, 
were fed with the oil of olives, and were kept burning all night, 


Job 18: 5,0. 21:17. Prov. 13: 9. 20:20. 24:20. 3l! 18. We 
may infer from the golden lamp of the Tabernacle, that those of 
the opulent were rich and splendid. Flambeaus, tPTsb , were 
of two kinds. The one were pieces of old linen twisted firmly to- 
gether and diped in oil or bitumen, which were sometimes whol- 
ly consumed by the flame, Judg. 15: 4. The others were small 
bars of iron or brass, inserted into a stick, to which pieces of linen 
dipped in oil were fastened. But, lest the oil should flow down up- 
on the hand of him, who carried them, a small vessel of brass or 
iron surrounded the bottom of the stick, Matt. 25: 3. 

§ 41. Villages, Towns, Cities. 

A number of tents or cottages, collected together, were called 
villages, tF"")33 , 1D3 , T'SS , also towns and cities , ns> , 1"» , 
PPnp . When a number of families saw that their situation was 
not secure, they begun to fortify themselves. Cain set the exam- 
ple ; who surrounded with a ditch, or a sort of hedge a few cot- 
tages situated perhaps on a hill, and raised a sort of scaffolding 
within, in order to aid him in reaching his enemies with stones. 
However this may be, undoubtedly something of this kind was 
the origin of fortified cities. In process of time the hedge was 
converted into a wall, the ditch became both wider and deeper, 
and the scaffold increased into a tower. Great advancement was 
made in the art of fortification even in the time of Moses, Numb. 
13: 25 — 33. But still greater at a subsequent age. It seems that 
the cities in Palestine in the time of Joshua were large, since 
12,000 men were slain in the city of Ai, which is said to have 
been a small city. The Hebrews in the time of David, who 
were exceedingly increased in point of numbers, must have had 
large cities. Jerusalem in particular could not have been other- 
wise than extensive, since such myriads of people assembled there 
on festival days. For, though many dwelt in tents and many met 
with a hospitable reception in the neighboring villages, yet vast 
multitudes were received into the city. The extent of the cities 
of Galilee in the time of Christ is made known to us by Josephus. 
J. War, B. III. 3, 2 ; and at that period, as we may gather from the 
number of the Paschal lambs, slain at one time, 3,000,000 people 
were wont to assemble at Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. 
It is clear from this, that the site of Jeiusalem which at this time 



occupied an extent of 33 stadia, was crowded with houses, and 
those of many stories. Tt is worthy of remark, that towns are call- 
ed ni^T?* and d"*-^ , and fortified cities, B^nS , in the Talmud, an- 
swering to the distinctions in the New Test, of noktig and tko/xotio- 
Itig. The streets, &yrm , pVJ , yitt , ntoft, in the cities of Asia 
are merely from three to six feet broad. The object of this is, that 
the shades which they cast, may counteract in some degree the heat 
of the sun. 

That many of them formerly were much larger, is evident from 
the fact, that chariots were driven through them, which is not 
done at the present day. Josephus also makes a division, both of 
streets and gates, into larger and smaller. The larger streets are 
distinguished by a separate name, Srn and rpzrn . A paved 
street is a rare sight in the East, at the present day ; although for- 
merly, at least in the time of Herod, they were by no means un- 
common. The market places were near the gates of the city, 
sometimes within, sometimes without, where the different kinds 
of goods were exposed to sale, sometimes under the open sky, 
sometimes in tents, 2 Chron. 18: 9. 32: 6. Neh. 8: 1, 3. 2 Kgs. 7: 
18. Job 29: 7. This was the case at a very early period ; but Jose- 
phus teaches us, that later down, in the time of Christ, they were 
similar to those, which at the present day are common in the East, 
being large streets, covered with an arch, through which the light 
was admitted by the means of orifices. These large streets or Ba- 
zars, as they are termed, which are furnished with gates, and shut 
up during the night, are occupied on both sides with the storehous- 
es of merchants. In the large cities there are many broad streets of 
this kind, and commonly a separate one for each different species 
of merchandize ; in these streets also are the shops of artificers. 

The houses in oriental cities are rarely contiguous to each other, 
and for the most part have large gardens attached to them. If, 
therefore, Nineveh and Babylon are said to have occupied an al- 
most incredible space, we must not suppose, that it was occupied 
throughout by contiguous houses. Indeed it is the testimony of 
ancient historians, that nearly a third part of Babylon was taken 
up with fields and gardens. 

Aqueducts are very ancient in oriental cities, Josephus, Antiq. 
B. IX. 14. § 2. We find mention made of aqueducts at Jerusalem, 
2 Chron. 32: 30. 2 Kgs. 20: 20. Isa. 7: 3, especially of one called 
rrs^b^rj ilS^a nbsm , the aqueduct of the upper pool or ditch, which 



implies, that there was another one more known, probably the one, 
whose distinguished ruins are seen to this day from Jerusalem to 
Bethlehem. The one first mentioned, some of the ruins of which 
still remain, conveyed the waters from the river Gihon into Jerusa- 
lem. These, as well as all the other aqueducts of Asia, were erect- 
ed above the surface of the earth and were carried through vallies, 
over arches and columns. From this circumstance it appears, that 
the ancients did not know, that water enclosed in this manner will 
of itself gain the elevation from which it falls. Aqueducts were not 
unfrequent, but cisterns were found every where. 

Note. The people of the East metaphorically ascribe the char- 
acter of females to cities. They represent them as the mothers of 
the inhabitants ; they speak of them, as wives of the kings ; when 
they revolt against their sovereign, they are adulterous, &c. 2 Sam. 
20: 19. 2 Kgs. 19: 21. Ps. 137: 8. Is. 23: 12. 47: 1—8. 54: 3. 62: 4. 
66: 9. Jer. 3: 8—14. 20: 5—8. 13: 26. 31: 4. Lam. 1: 1—8, 17. 
Nahum 3: 5, 6. Ezek. 16: 14. 23: 29. 


§ 42. Of the Nomades. 

The Nomades are a very ancient people, Gen. 3: 18, 21. 4: 2, 
19, 20. 11:2. They are numerous even at this day, and occupy 
large tracts of land. Nor is it wonderful ; for their mode of life 
has many things to recommend it, especially freedom, and facili- 
ties for the acquisition of riches. These shepherds of the des- 
ert wander about without any fixed habitation. They despise 
and neglect all other business, but that of tending their flocks. 
Still they are not mean and uncultivated, but are polite, power- 
ful, and magnanimous. Such were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and 
their posterity also, till they conquered the land of Canaan. They 
possess vast flocks and a great number of servants. The masters 
always go armed, and spend their time in hunting, in the over- 
sight of their affairs, in wars and predatory excursions. Part of 
the servants are armed, in order to keep from the flocks robbers 
and wild beasts. Part have only a staff T\XZ12, b$72, and a pouch, 
which were anciently the whole property of travellers, and 

§ 43. PASTURES. 


those who were not rich, except that instead of a pouch they 
carried a somewhat larger sack, f^bpS, 2 Kgs. 4: 42. 1 Sam. 17: 
40—43. Ps. 23: 4. Mic. 7: 14. Matt. 10: 10. Luke 9: 3. 10: 4. 

Note. If in the Bible kings are called shepherds, we are 
not to conclude, that the title is degrading to them ; on the con- 
trary it is sublime and honourable. For the same reason, that it 
was applied to earthly monarchs, it was applied to God, who was 
the king of the Hebrews, and as the shepherd is to his flock, so 
was He the guide and protector to his children Israel, see Ps. 
23: 1—4. Isa. 40: 11. 63: 11. Jer. 10: 21. 23: 1. 31: 10. 50: 6. 
51: 23. Mic. 5: 5. Nahum 3: 18. Ezek. 34: 2—28. 37: 24. Zech. 
11: 15. In the Old Testament this tropical expression, viz. a 
shepherd, constantly indicates kings, but in the New Testament 
the teachers of the Jews, those, who presided in the synagogues, 
were denominated shepherds. The notions of the Jews in this 
instance seems to have coincided with those of the Stoicks, who 
would have it, that wise men alone, those qualified to be teachers, 
were true kings. The appellation of shepherds, however, used 
by the former, is the more modest of the two, though the same in 
significancy. The use of the word to denote religious teachers 
was received and transmitted in the Christian church, and to this 
day we speak of the pastors or shepherds of a religious society, 
Ephes. 4:11. Matt. 9: 36. John 10: 12— 14. Heb. 13: 20. 1 Pet. 
2: 25. 5: 4. 

§ 43. Pastures. ■ 

The pastures of the Nomacles were the deserts or wilder- 
nesses, which have already been mentioned, ni*C , !rp.5 , ritott , 
■ph, 12173 e'Sco, Job 5: 10. Mark 1: 45. These vast tracts of land 
could not be monopolized by any individual, but were open to all 
the shepherds alike, unless some one had by some means acquir- 
ed in them a peculiar right. Such an unappropriated pasture 
was the part of Canaan, where Abraham dwelt, and where Isaac 
and Jacob succeeded him. The Israelites from Egypt appear al- 
so to have gone there with their flocks, till they were debarred 
by the increased number of the Canaanites. The pastures, which 
were the property of separate nations, came in the progress of 


time occasionally into contention. This was the case in regard to 
Canaan, which the Hebrews were eventually under the necessity 
of reoccupying by arms. After the occupation of Palestine, there 
lay open to the Hebrews not only the vast desert of Judah, but 
many other deserts or uncultivated places of this kind. This ac- 
counts for what we may gather from Scripture, that the Hebrews 
were among the richest of the Nomades, or people, who kept flocks 
in the wilderness, 2 Sam. 17: 27, et seq. 19: 32. 1 Sam. xxv. 
1 Chron. 27: 29—31. comp. Isa. 65: 10. Jer. 50: 19. 

§ 44. Emigrations of the Nomades. 

These shepherds occupy almost the same positions in the de- 
serts every year, ni^ft . In the summer they go to the north, or 
on to the mountains, in the winter to the south, or the vallies. 
When about to emigrate, they pluck up their tents, pile them up- 
on the beasts of burden, and go with them to the place, destined 
for their subsequent erection. The flocks live both night and day 
under the open sky. Hence their wool, being unexposed to the 
exhalations of sheepcotes, but always being in the open air, is finer 
than usual. The flocks become acquainted with the path, which 
they yearly travel, and afford but little trouble to those, who con- 
duct them. Still they are guarded by hired servants, and by the 
sons and daughters of their owners, even by the daughters of the 
Emirs or chiefs, who to this day perform for strangers those friend- 
ly offices, which are mentioned, Gen. 24: 17 — 20. comp. Gen. 29: 
9. Exod. 2: 16. The servants are subject to the steward, who is 
himself a dependent, though he has the title of rT2 ]£t , the senior 
of the house. He numbers the sheep at evening, perhaps also in 
the morning, Gen. 24: 2. Jer. 33: 13. If animals or their young 
are lost, the steward is obligated to make compensation. Some 
Jimitations, however, are assigned, Gen. 31: 38. Exodus 22: 12. 
comp. Amos 3: 12. The hired servants sometimes received a 
portion of the young of the flock, as their reward, Gen. xxx. The 
servants, who, as well as the cattle, are sometimes comprehend- 
ed under the word, TiJ.pft , inhabited tents in the winter, but often 
dwelt in tabernacles in the summer. The masters on the contra- 
ry dwelt in tents the whole year, except when occasionally they 
retreated into the neighbouring cities, Gen. 19: 1. 26: 1. 12: 10, 



20. 33: 17. Lev. 23: 43. In the vicinity of the tents, was erected 
a sort of watch tower, IrytD , Tiy btyft , from which the approach 
of enemies could be discerned afar off. Mich. 4: 8. 

§ 45. Fountains and Cisterns. 

Water, which was very scanty in the deserts, and yet was very 
necessary to large flocks, was very highly valued and very frugal- 
ly imparted, Job 22: 7. Num. 20: 17—19. Deut. 2: 6—28. Hence 
the Nomades, in those tracts, through which they yearly travel, 
dig wells and cisterns at certain distances, which they have the 
art of concealing in such a manner, that another, who travels the 
same way, will not discover them, nor steal away the waters. In 
this way perhaps they may be said to take possession of certain 
districts and to render them their own property, as was done 
by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in respect to Palestine. Hence 
the contentions respecting wells were of great moment, Gen. 21: 
25. 26: 13 — 22. Different receptacles of water are mentioned. 

I. Fountains, tr?3 WStia , "pS>. These are the source of running 
waters, and are common to all. If they flow all the year round, 
they are called by the Orientals, D n 3rPi$ fi^ft , or t:^: £N 3 , never- 
failing or faithful fountains ; if they dry up in the summer, they are 
denominated tPlara or deceitful, Job 6: 15 — 22. Isa. 33: 16. Jer. 
15: 18. Wells, niTlfijta , are receptacles of water, from which 
there is no stream issuing. They belong to those persons, 
who found or dug them first. Sometimes they are owned by a 
number of shepherds in common, who come to them on appointed 
days with their flocks, in an order previously settled upon, descend 
a number of steps, which lead to the surface of the water, receive 
the water into small buckets, , and pour it into troughs, QTnK'&tt , 
for the flock. The flocks are admitted to drink in a regular or- 
der, Gen. 29: 3—12. 24: 11—15. Exod. 2: 16. Judg. 5: 11. The 
waters of wells and fountains are called living waters, d^ln D")tt , 
and are very much esteemed, Lev. 14: 5, 50. Num. 19: 17. Hence 
they are made a symbol of prosperity, and God himself is compar- 
ed to a fountain of living waters, Is. 43: 19, 20. 49: 10. Jer. 2: 13. 
17: 13. Ps. 87: 7. Joel 3: 18. Ezek. 47: 1. et seq. Zech. 14: 18. 

II. Cisterns, gfcfta , rrniO , ni3, ^83 . They were the pro- 
perty of those by whom they were made, Num. 21: 22. Under this 



name occur large subterranean vaults, often occupying an acre in 
extent, but which open by a small mouth. They are filled with rain 
water and snow during the winter, and are then closed at the mouth 
by large flat stones, over which sand is spread in such a way, as 
to prevent its being easily discovered. In cities the cisterns were 
works of much labour, for they were either hewn into rocks or 
surrounded with subterranean walls, and covered with a firm in- 
crustation. We gather this from their ruins, and not a few of 
them remain. But if by chance the waters, which the shepherd 
has treasured up in cisterns, are lost by means of an earthquake 
or some other casualty, or are plundered by a thief, both he and 
his flocks are exposed to destruction ; an event, which happens 
not unfrequently to travellers, who hasten to a fountain, but find 
its waters gone. For this reason a failure of water is used in 
Scripture, as an image of any great calamity, Isa. 41: 17, 18. 44: 
3. There is a large deposition of mud at the bottom of these cis- 
terns, so that he who falls into them, when they are empty of wa- 
ter, perishes by a miserable death, Gen. 37: 22, ff. Jer. 38: 6. Lam. 
3: 53. Ps. 40: 2. 69: 15. Cisterns, notwithstanding, were used, 
when empty, as prisons ; prisons indeed, which were constructed 
under ground, received the same name, Gen. 39: 20. 40: 15. 

§ 46. The Flocks of the Nomades. 

These are goats and sheep, and they have great numbers of 
them. They are called by the Hebrews, collectively, , but 
separately, FPJS Jer. 49: 29. Ezek. 25: 5. The sheep are horn- 
ed, and commonly white, Ps. 147: 16. Isa. 1: 18. Dan. 7: 9. Black 
ones are very rare, tttft; some are covered with small spots, 
tp^np: , some with larger ones, fc\Vrp , others are streaked, 
and others again, called 2'H r l , are distinguished by variegated 
hoofs, or, as some say, by circular streaks round the body, like 
rings, Gen. 30: 32 — 34. 31: 10 — 12. The sheep, mentioned in 
Ezek. 27: 18, whose wool is of a bright brown, inclining to a 
grey, ^ift^ 1232£, are found in Caramania. 

Further ; there are three different breeds of sheep in the East. 
I. The common, of which we have specimens every day among 
ourselves. II. The deformed breed, with short legs, macerated body, 
and rough wool, called in Arabic nakad, and in Hebrew "JpiU. 




III. A breed larger than ours, and of very fine wool. Of this class 
of sheep, there are two kinds, the one, having immense tails about 
four feet long, and five inches thick, !TPb« , the other, having short 
tails, and large clumps of fat on the haunches. Sheep are profi- 
table to their owners for their milk, nbfi , their flesh *vtoa , and par- 
ticularly for the wool, , which is shorn twice a year. A sheep 
hardly worth a florin will return a thousand to its owner, and 
many thousands of them are owned by a single shepherd in the 
vast deserts of the East, Job 1:3. 1 Sam. 25: 3, 4. 1 Chron. 5: 
18 — 21. The annual increase of the flock is the greater on this 
account, that the sheep frequently bear twins, Cant. 6: 6. They 
bring forth twice a year, viz. in the spring and autumn, going with 
young only five months ; but the spring lambs are esteemed pre- 
ferable to those of the autumn. The lambs of a year old are 
called 9 , Batons , fc)33 . We may infer from what has been 
stated, which indeed is the fact, that their sheep, which are the 
source of so much emolument to the Nomades, are very dear to 
them. They give them titles of endearment, and the ram, that is 
called out by its master, marches before the flock ; hence the rul- 
ers of the people are every where called leaders of the flock, Jer. 
25: 34, 35. 50: 8. Isa. 14: 9. Zech. 10: 3. The Arabians have 
certain terms, by which they can call the sheep, either to drink 
or to be milked. The sheep know the voice of the shepherd, and 
go at his bidding, John 10: 3, 14. Sometimes a lamb is taken in- 
to the tent, and tended and brought up like a dog. Such an one 
is called in Heb. qri^N fc32S , and in Arabic by a word which means 
an inmate, 2 Sam. 12: 3. Jer. 11: 19. 

Before the shearing, the sheep are collected into an uncovered 
enclosure, surrounded by a wall, Hhffi , ri'yja , > »"183 , <*v- 

Xrj, John 10: 11, 16. The object of this is, that the wool may be 
rendered finer by the sweating and evaporation, which necessarily 
result from the flock's being thus crowded together. These are 
the sheepfolds mentioned in the following as well as in other pla- 
ces, Num. 32: 16. 24: 36. 2 Sam. 7: 8. Zeph. 2: 6. There is no 
other kind than this, used in the East. Sheepshearings were great 
festivals, I Sam. 25: 2, 4, 18, 36. 2 Sam. 13: 23. 

Goats, as well as sheep, are comprehended under the collective 
noun, but are properly called ff**3? , from T3J , a she-goat. The 
he-goat is called tthfr, ana< hfaaSC. They are of a 



black colour, sometimes particoloured. They live under the open 
sky, with this exception only, that the kids are sometimes taken 
into the tent, to keep them from sucking the dam. They com- 
pensate their owners with their milk, more precious than any 
other, Prov. 27: 27 ; with their flesh, which in the East is highly 
esteemed ; and with their hair, of which the Arabian women make 
cloth to cover their tents with. Of the skins bottles are made, 
nfafit , tPl&a , , , fttgh • When they are used to hold water 
or other liquids, the hairy side of the skin is external, with the ex- 
ception, that in wine bottles, the hairy side is always turned in and 
the other out. 

From the skins of kids small bottles are made, which answer the 
purpose of flasks. It is uncertain what that preparation by the 
means of smoke was, which is mentioned, Ps. 119: 83. Perhaps 
it was the same with what, the ambassador from Vienna informs 
us, is practised at this day among the Calmucks, who, by means 
of smoke, prepare very durable and transparent skins, and make 
from them small, but elegant, flasks and bottles. The goats of 
Ancyra, with hair resembling silk commonly called cameVs hair, 
appear to have been known to the ancient Hebrews; and Schultz, in 
Paulus' Collection of Travels, VII. 108 — 110, says, that he saw 
flocks of these goats descending from the mountains in the vicinity 
of Acco and Ptolemais, which exemplified the descriptions in Cant. 
4: 1, 2. 6: 5. 

Note. It is not necessary to enumerate the different species of 
wild goats. It is worthy of remark, that geese, hens, and swine 
were not known among the domestic animals of the Nomades. 
At a somewhat recent period, hens in some places were raised by 
the Hebrews ; for ^« , a hen, ' that does not hatch its eggs,' is spok- 
en of by Jeremiah 17: 11 ; and in the time of Christ, when Peter 
denied his master, the cock crew in Jerusalem. No hearing is to 
be given to those Talmudists, who, though they lived nearly 200 
years after Christ, took it upon themselves to deny the existence, 
at any time, of fowls of this kind in that city. 

§ 47. Animals of the Ox-kind. 

These animals are called collectively Iga, but separately 
^TO , t^C^N , bWttj ; those under three years f)S±y% t^ay. 



fcitt*; and those over three years, *is, rns , D***}3 , nVnS, also 
^riv , which last, however, is properly an epithet of strength. 
These animals are smaller in oriental countries than among us, 
and have certain protuberances on the back directly over the fore- 
feet. They are useful chiefly in agriculture ; but they are not ex- 
cluded from the possessions of the Nomades, Gen. 24: 25. Job 
1: 3. Herdsmen were held in lower estimation, than the keepers 
of flocks, but they possessed the richest pastures in Bashan, Sha- 
ron, and Achior. Hence the oxen and bulls of Bashan, which 
were not only well fed, but strong and ferocious, are used as the 
symbols of ferocious enemies, Ps. 22: 12. 68: 31. Isa. 34: 7. 
Deut. 33: 17. Prov. 14: 4. Heifers were symbolic of matrons, 
Amos 4: 1. Hosea 4: 15, 16. 10: 11. Jer. 46: 20. The horns of 
oxen and bulls, also of goats, are used tropically to express power, 
Ps. 75:10. 89: 17,24. 92: 10. Amos 6: 13. Jer. 48: 25. Lam. 2: 3. 
Ezek. 29: 21. Dan. 7: 7, 8, 24. S: 3—5. Luke 1: 69. If the horns 
are represented as made of brass or iron, they indicate very great, 
and as it were, insuperable power, 1 Kings 22: 11.1 Chron. 18: 10. 
Mic. 4: 13- — 16. Hence the ancient coins represent kings with 
horns, and one of the titles which the Arabians attach to the great, 
especially to the warlike son of Philip, is, horned. 

(3)xen not only submitted to the yoke, and were employed in 
drawing carts and ploughs ; but the Nomades frequently made use 
of them to transport goods on their backs, as they did on camels. 
The milk of the cows was found a nutritive drink Gen. 18: 8. 
Of this the people made cheese, in^ni , b^Btj, rricuj. 2 Sam. 
17: 29. What is called 3|rj ^^iVr,' 1 Sam. 17: 18, were slices of 
coagulated milk, which had been strained through a leathern strain- 
er, and, after it had grown hard, cut into pieces, as it was found ne- 
cessary to use them. Anciently butter was not much used, but 
instead of it, oil of olives, which was applied not only to vegeta- 
bles, but also to other kinds of food. In the Bible there is no men- 
tion made of butter. J->ttftfi , which in the Vulgate and other trans- 
lations is rendered butter, was used as a drink, Judg. 5: 25, and, 
therefore, must have been milk in some shape or other. Honey 
and milk were accounted great dainties, but a great plenty of 
them was an indication, that a wide destruction of the people had 
preceded. On account of which diminution of the inhabitants, 
large and rich pastures were every where to be found ; so that 


§ 48. OF ASSES. 

abundance of milk was the natural consequence, and swarms of bees, 
more numerous than usual, enjoyed a more free and undisturbed 
opportunity to gather their honey, comp. Isa. 7: 15. 

Note, Wild animals of the ox-kind are not mentioned in the 
Bible. The animals, which are called -pfa'rp, and fijjn , tn , are 
a species of the gazelle or wild goat, which, because they bear 
some resemblance to them, are called by the Arabs, wild oxen. 

§ 48. Of Asses. 

Asses, l^-nttn , ^iftft . She Asses, nisini* , finN . The latter 
are considered the most valuable on account of the colts, "Vy , tJ* v V* , 
and in the enumerations of animals, they are mentioned separately. 
The Nomades possess great numbers of these animals, and, in the 
East, if rightly trained up, they are not only patient and diligent, 
but active, beautiful in appearance, and ignoble in no respect. 
They are esteemed very highly, and their name is used tropically in 
the Scriptures, for active and industrious men, Gen. 49: 14. Their 
colour is red, inclining to a brown, to which the name ^H/Oh is 
an allusion. Some are party-coloured, Judg. 5: 10. DITTOS , 
unless perchance, such are painted; for the Orientals to this day 
are in the habit of painting their horses and oxen. They are em- 
ployed in ploughing, in drawing carts, and in turning mills, to which 
Matt. 18: 6, is an allusion. Moses, Deut. 22: 10, passed a law, that 
the ass and ox should not be used together in ploughing. Com- 
monly the asses bear their burden, whether men or packages, on 
their backs ; a mode of service to which they are peculiarly fitted. 

Anciently princes and great men rode on asses, Gen. 22: 3, 5. 
Num. 22: 21, 30. Jos. 15: 18. Judg. 1: 14. 5: 10. 10: 4. 12: 14. 

1 Sam. 25: 20, 23. 2 Sam. 17: 23. 19: 26. 1 Kgs. 2: 40. 13: 13. 

2 Kgs. 4: 22, 24. Zech. 9: 9. Matt. 21: 1—7. Luke 19: 29—36. 
John 12: 12 — 16. Horses were destined almost exclusively for 
war ; and all classes, in time of peace, made use of asses for 
the purposes of conveyance, the great as well as those in ob- 
scure life. They were guided by a rein placed in the mouth, 
in Hebrew iTEri u3nn , translated to saddle the ass, Gen. 22: 3. 
Num. 22:21. Judg. 19: 10. 2 Sam. 16: 1. 17:23. The saddle 
was merely a piece of cloth, thrown over the back of the animal, 


$ 49. CAMELS. 57 

on which the rider sat. The servant followed after with a staff, 
when the ass had no rider, and applied it when there was necessi- 
ty, to quicken the celerity of his movements, Judg. 19: 3. 2 Kgs. 4: 
24. Prov. 26: 3. 

Note I. Mules, E^l^S, *n?> are spoken of in the age of David, 
1 Chron. 12: 40. Ps. 32i 9. 2 Sam. 18: 9, 10. 13: 25. 1 Kgs. 
1: 33. Probably they were known much earlier, even in the time 
of Moses. The word tPW, Gen. 36: 24, is not to be translated 
mules, as is comonly done, but " warm baths." Mules appear to 
have been brought to the Hebrews from other nations, and in the 
recent periods of their history, we find, that the more valua- 
ble ones came from Togarmah or Armenia, Ezek. 27: 14. The 
W'lMfrUT, or great mules of Persia, celebrated for their swiftness, 
the mothers of which were mares, are mentioned, Esth. 8: 10. 

Note II. There are great numbers of wild asses in the East. 
Two species are worthy of observation, the one called Dsigetai ; 
the other, Kulan. The latter are supposed to have sprung from 
domestic asses, who, as occasions had presented, acquired their 
freedom. They are a fearful animal, and swift in flight, but can 
be tamed, if taken when young, Job 11: 12. 24: 5. 39: 5 — 8. 
Dan. 5: 21. That the Hebrew word &*\B> means the Dsigetai, and 
the word ■*ri*?S , the Kulan species, can neither be reconciled with 
the use of the Arabic, nor with Job 39: 5. They must be considered 
merely as separate names for the same species. These animals are 
of a fine figure and rapid in motion ; they frequent desert places 
and flee far from the abodes of men. The females herd together, 
and are headed by a male. When the latter is slain, the former 
are scattered and wander about separately, Hos. 8: 9. They feed 
on the mountains and in salt vallies, Job 39: 8. Their organs of 
smelling, which are very acute, enable them to scent waters at a 
great distance. Hence travellers, who are destitute of water, are 
accustomed to follow them, Ps. 104: 11. Is. 32: 14. Jer. 14: 6. 

§ 49. Camels, , . 

They are of two kinds. The one is the Turkish or Bactrian, 
distinguished by two protuberances on the back. This kind is 
large and strong, carrying from eight to fifteen hundred pounds, 

5S § 49. CAMELS. 

but is impatient of the heat. The other kind, called the dro- 
medary or Arabian camel, has but one bunch on the back, is more 
rapid in its movement, and endures the heat better, than the large 
camel. It is denominated in Heb. ^SSS, STtea, and rri-D"D, Is. 
60: 6. 66: 20. Jer. 2: 23. 

Camels require but little food, and endure thirst from sixteen 
to forty days. They are particularly fitted for those vast de- 
serts, which are destitute of water ; are kept in great numbers by 
the Nomades, and the Arab is esteemed of a secondary rank, who 
is not the possessor of them, Gen. 24: 10, 64. 31: 17. 1 Chron. 
5: 19—21. Jer. 49: 29. comp. 1 Sam. 30 : 17. 1 Kgs. 10: 2. Is. 
30: 6. Ezek. 25: 4. They are used for the transportation of 
every description of packages, and burdens of every sort, Gen. 37: 
25. Judg. 6: 5. 1 Chron. 12: 40. 2 Chron. 14: 15. 2 Kgs. 8: 9. Is. 
30: 6. Men rode upon them very often, 1 Sam. 30: 17. When 
they are loaded, and set out upon a journey, they follow one after 
another, seven together. The second is fastened to the first by a 
woollen string, the fourth to the third, and so on. The servant 
leads the first k one, and is informed by the tinkling of a bell, at- 
tached to the neck of the last one, whether they all continue their 
march. The seven camels thus connected together, are called 
fa^tta riyD\y, which is badly rendered by the Vulgate, " inunda- 
tio camelorum," Is. 60: 6. The riders either ride as on a horse, 
with the feet suspended, the one on one side and the other on 
the other ; or, when two go together, sit upon baskets, which are 
thrown across the animal, so as to balance each other. Some- 

times they travel in a covered vehicle, 12 , v — which is se- 
cured on the back of the camel, and answers the purpose of a 
small house. It is often divided into two apartments, and the trav- 
eller, who can sit in either of them, is enabled also to carry 
some little furniture with him. These conveyances are protect- 
ed by veils, which are not rolled up, except in front ; so that the 
person within has the privilege of looking out, while he is him- 
self concealed. They are used chiefly by the women, rarely by 
the men, Gen. 31: 17. If the rider wishes to descend, the cam- 
el does not kneel as on other occasions, but the rider takes hold 
of the servant's staff and by the aid of it alights, Gen. 24: 64. The 
camels, on which the rich are carried, are adorned with splendid 
chains and crescents, tPshflip , Judg. 8: 21, 26. 

§ 50. HORSES. 


The Nomades understand how to turn to profitable purpose all 
the parts of animals of this kind. They drink the milk, though it is 
thick. When it has become acid, it inebriates, Jud. 4: 19. 5: 25. 
They feed upon the flesh, a privilege, which was interdicted to the 
Hebrews, Lev. 11: 4. The hair, which is shed every year, was 
manufactured into coarse cloth, and constituted the clothing of 
the poorer class of people, Matt. 3: 4. In the Arabic language, 
there are many allusions made to camels, and tropes drawn from 
this source possess as much dignity, as those drawn from oxen 
do in the Hebrew. Proverbs, founded in the qualities of the camel, 
occur in Matt. 19: 24. 23: 24. 

§ 50. Horses. 

S!)0 , , *j73*n , or uns , sometimes, 3*p , 1 Sam. 8: 11. 
2 Sam. h 6. 8: 4.' 10: 18.' 1 Chro'n. 18. 4. Is. 21:' 7. 28: 28. The 
word t^-PSi* , when applied to horses, is merely an epithet of 
strength. It is applied in the same way to oxen also. The Noma- 
des of recent ages place much more value on these animals, than 
those did of an earlier period. We find horses first in Egypt, Gen. 
47: 17. 49: 17. Exod. 9: 3. 14: 6—28. Job 39: 19. That country 
was always celebrated for them, 1 Kings 10: 28. Is. 31: 1. 36: 9. 
Ezek. 17: 15. Joshua encountered chariots and horsemen in the 
north of Palestine, chap. 11: 4 — 9. He rendered the horses use- 
less, which he took, by cutting the hamstrings ; since they would 
have been but of little profit in the mountains of Palestine, comp. 
Judg. 4: 15. 5: 22, 28. Not long after, the Philistines conducted 
chariots into battle, Judg. 1: 19. 1 Sam. 13: 5. 

Anciently horses were used exclusively for the purposes of war, 
Prov. 21: 31. Hence they are opposed to asses, which were used 
in times of peace, Zech. 9: 9. The Hebrews first attended to 
the raising of horses in the reign of Solomon. The hundred, 
which were reserved, 2 Sam. 8: 4. 1 Chron. 18: 4, were destined 
for the use of David himself, whose example was imitated by 
Absalom, 2 Sam. 15: 1. The Psalmist frequently alludes to 
the mode of governing horses and to equestrian armies, Ps. 32: 
9. 66: 12. 33: 17. 76: 6. 147: 10. Solomon carried on a great 
trade in Egyptian horses. They were brought from Egypt and 
from aop, rnp, perhaps Kua situated in Africa, 1 Kings 10: 28. 


§ 51. DOGS. 

2 Chron. 1: 16, 17. A horse was estimated at about 150, and a 
chariot at 600 shekels. In the time of Ezekiel, the Tyrians pur- 
chased horses in Togarmah or Armenia. The Hebrews, after the 
time of Solomon, were never destitute of chariots and cavalry. The 
rider used neither stirrup nor saddle, but sat upon a piece of cloth, 
thrown over the back of the horse. The women rarely rode horses, 
but whenever they had occasion to, they rode in the same manner 
with the men. Horses were not shod with iron before the ninth 
century; hence solid hoofs were esteemed of great consequence, 
Amos 6: 12. Is. 5: 28. 

The bridle, 3fj52 i, and the cavesson, fD"\ , were used both for 
horses and mules, Ps. 32: 9. 

§51. Dogs, tP^rs , 

The Nomades found use for them in guarding and in driving 
their flocks. Frequent as these animals are in oriental cit- 
ies, they are universally abhorred with the exception of the 
hunting dogs. Hence to be called a dog is a cutting reproach, 
full of bitter contempt, Job 30: 1. 1 Sam. 17: 43. 2 Sam. 3: 8. 
2 Kings 8 : 13. Prov. 26 : 11. comp. Luke 16 : 21. 2 Peter 2 : 22. 
The appellation of dead dog indicates imbecility, 1 Sam. 24: 14. 
2 Sam. 9: 8. 16: 9. The reward of prostitution is called by way 
of contempt, dog's hire, 3^3 ^n» , Deut. 23: 18. The Jews in 
the time of Christ were accustomed to call the Gentiles dogs. 
The Saviour in order to abate the severity of the appellation used 
the diminutive xvvuoia, Matt. 15: 22 — 28. Impudent and con- 
tentious men are sometimes called dogs, Matt. 7: 6. Philip. 3: 2. 
Gal. 5: 15. In the East, dogs, with the exception of those em- 
ployed in hunting, have no masters, wander free in the streets, 
and live upon the offals, which are cast into the gutters. Being 
often at the point of starvation, they devour corpses, and in the 
night attack even living men, Ps. 22: 16, 20. 59: 6, 14, 15. I Kgs. 
14:11. 16:4. 21:23.22:38. 2 Kgs. 9 : 36. Jer. 15:3. They 
herd together in vast numbers; whenever any tumult arises in the 
night, they commence a terrific barking, and when the people 
mourn through the streets for the dead, they respond to them with 
their howls. Hence may be explained Exod. 11:7. y^hywH 
IDilj^ 3^3 comp. also Josh. 10: 21. 

§ 52. OF HUNTING. 


Jackals. The wild or yellow dog, (so called by Hasselquist,) 
/ / / m / 

is denominated in Persian in Turkish JUirs^ in Hebrew 

5 / c / 5 / / J 

Vsy£ or the fox, in Syriac in Arab. (^.Xx'i, &J\j!$, Judg. 

15: 14. Foxes, however, properly so called, the Hebrews distin- 
guish by the name f:Dp C^rS-tp, or little jackals, Cant. 2: 15. 
The jackals they call also tfajk and tPsn , the former of which 
words is commonly translated dragons in the Eng. version. These 
animals are three and a half feet long, have yellow hair, a tail al- 
so of yellow, with the tip of brown. They go together in herds, 
lie in caves through the day, and wander about howling through 
the night. They make their way into houses for the purpose of 
stealing food. They have so little cunning, that when thieving in 
a house, if they hear one of the herd howling out in the fields, they 
immediately set up a responsive cry, and thus betray to the master 
of the house their predatory visitation. 

They are also taken easily in other ways, Judg. 15: 4. They de- 
vour dead bodies, Ps. 63: 10. They are ferocious, but can be 
kept off with a cane. There are vast numbers of these animals in 
Palestine, particularly in Galilee, and near Gaza, and Jaffa, (Joppa,) 
Judg. 15: 4. They do much injury to the vines, though less than 
the foxes, Cant. 2: 15. 

§ 52. Of Hunting. 

Although the Nomades have many hunting dogs, the dogs are 
not always able to keep off the wild beasts from the flock, unless 
aided by the shepherds themselves. Hence arose hunting or the 
chase, which is practised the more readily from the circumstance, 
that the meat of wild animals is considered a great delicacy. 
The earliest inhabitants of the world were compelled to hunt in 
order to secure themselves from the attacks of wild beasts, and a 
great hunter, vx , was accounted a benefactor of mankind. Such 
a benefactor some inaccurately suppose Nimrod to have been, not 
taking into consideration all the circumstances, Gen. 10: 9. 

A different state of things existed in the time of Moses, who 
enacted two laws on the subject of hunting, the object of which 
was to preserve the wild animals of Palestine, Exod. 23: 11. Lev. 
25: 6, 7. Deut. 22: 6, 7. Hunting in ancient times required both speed 



and bravery. Some have slain lions without any armour, which is 
sometimes done in the East at the present day. The implements of 
hunting were usually the same with those of war ; viz, nttJJ?. , the 
bow ; yn, the arrow ; (hence the hunter Ishmael was called an 
archer, Gen. 21: 20 ;) also, TVq'-) , a spear or lance ; n*3ft, a javelin ; 
Sl'lfr, a sword. Hunters made use of various arts to secure their 
object. They employed nets, rv:3~i , ^72572, in which lions 
were taken, Ezek. 19:8; likewise gins, 'iip/iTa , snares, ta^fts, ns, 
and pitfalls, nftttj which were excavated especially for lions, in 
such a way, that there was an elevation of solid ground in the 
centre. In this elevation a pole was fastened, and a lamb was 
confined to the pole. The lion, excited by the prospect of a vic- 
tim, rushed upon the lamb, but plunged headlong through the 
light covering, which concealed the intervening pitfall, Ezek. 
19: 4. Birds were taken in snares or gins. These instruments and 
modes of warfare are used tropically, to indicate the wiles of an 
adversary, great danger, or impending destruction, Ps. 9: 16. 57: 6. 
94: 13. 119:85. Prov. 26:27. Is. 24: 17. 42:22. Jer. 5: 27. 6:21. 
18: 22. 48: 44. Luke 21: 35. Rom. 11: 9. Death is represented as 
a hunter, armed with his net, javelin, or sting, with which he takes 
and slays men, Ps. 91: 3. Hos. 13: 14. 1 Cor. 15: 55. 

Note. — For information, respecting other animals, mentioned 
in the Bible, see Bochart's Hierozoicon, Rosenmiillers edition, pub- 
lished at Leipsic 1793 — 1796, and Oedmann's Sammlungen aus Na- 
turkunde zur Erklarung der htiligen Schrift, 1786 — 96. 

§ 53. Of Robberies, committed on Travellers. 

Probably from the hunting of wild beasts, the Nomades turn- 
ed their attention to the plundering of travellers; an occupation, 
which they follow to this day in the vast deserts, nearly in the 
same way that pirates practise a similar vocation on the ocean. 
Their skill at plundering was predicted of Ishmael and his posteri- 
ty, and they have ever remarkably fulfilled the prediction, Gen. 
16: 12. Still they do not surpass many others of the Nomadic 
tribes ; who lie hid behind hills of sand, and wait for travellers, 
and then plunder them to the skin, comp. Jer. 3: 2. They do not 
slay any one, unless some one or a number of their own party per- 
ishes first. Having robbed them of all they possess, they common- 


ly return a garment to the persons plundered, in order that they 
may conceal their nakedness. They also permit the countrymen 
or friends of the captives, to redeem them. All the Nomades are 
polite and hospitable. They receive strangers into their tents, 
and, without any expectation of a return, exhibit to them every 
office of kindness. But they are different men, if they meet stran- 
gers in the wilderness. There are now, and there always have 
been Nomades, who have disapproved of the proceedings, of which 
we have spoken. Such were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Isra- 
elites ; some of whom, however, were at times guilty of plunder- 
ing, Judg. 9: 25. Mic. 2: 8. 


§ 54. Its value and importance. 

In the primitive ages of the world, agriculture, as well as the 
keeping of flocks, was a principal employment among men, Gen. 2: 
15. 3: 17 — 19. 4: 2. It is an art, which has ever been a prominent 
source, both of the necessaries and the conveniences of life. Those 
nations, which practised it at an early period, learnt its value, not 
only from their own experience, but also from observing the con- 
dition of the neighbouring countries, that were destitute of a knowl- 
edge of it, see Xenophon's Oixovof*. L. V. § 1 — 20. p. 299 — 305. 
(T. IV. ed. Thieme.) Impressed with the importance of agriculture, 
Noah, after he had escaped from the deluge, once more bestow- 
ed upon it his attention ; and there were some of the Nomades, 
who were far from neglecting it, Gen. 26: 12 — 14. 25: 34. 37: 7. 
Job 1: 3. 

Those states and nations, especially Babylon and Egypt, which 
made the cultivation of the soil their chief business, arose in a 
short period to wealth and power. To these communities just 


mentioned, which excelled in this particular all the others of an- 
tiquity, may be added that of the Hebrews, who learned the value 
of the art while remaining in Egypt, and ever after that time 
were famous for their industry in the cultivation of the earth. 

§ 55. Laws of Moses in regard to Agriculture. 

I. Moses, following the example of the Egyptians, made agri- 
culture the basis of the state. He, accordingly, apportioned to eve- 
ry citizen a certain quantity of land, and gave him the right of 
tilling it himself and of transmitting it to his heirs. The person, 
who had thus come into possession, could not alienate the proper- 
ty for any longer period than the year of the coming jubilee ; a 
regulation, which prevented the rich from coming into possession 
of large tracts of land, and then leasing them out in small parcels 
to the poor ; a practice which anciently prevailed, and does to this 
day, in the East. II. It was another law of Moses, that the vender 
of a piece of land, or his nearest relative, had a right to redeem 
the land sold, whenever they chose, by paying the amount of pro- 
fits up to the year of jubilee, Ruth 4: 4. Jer. 32: 7. III. Another 
law enacted by Moses on this subject, was, that the Hebrews, as 
was the case among the Egyptians after the time of Joseph, Gen. 
37: 18, et seq. should pay a tax of two tenths of their income unto 
God, whose servants they were to consider themselves, and whom 
they were to obey as their king, Lev. 27: 30. Deut. 12: 17 — 19. 
14: 22—29. comp. Gen. 28: 22. IV. The custom of marking the 
boundaries of lands by stones, although it prevailed a long time be- 
fore, Job 24: 2. was confirmed and perpetuated, in the time of 
Moses, by an express law ; and a cirse was pronounced against 
him, who without authority removed them. 

These regulations having been made in respect to the tenure, 
incumbrances, &c. of landed property, Joshua divided the whole 
country, which he had occupied, first, among the respective tribes, 
and, then, among individual Hebrews, running it out with the aid of 
a measuring line, Josh. 17: 5, 14. comp Amos 7: 17. Mic. 2: 5. 
Ps. 78: 55. Ezek. 40: 3. The word ^ljft a line, is accordingly 
used by a figure of speech for the heritage itself, Ps. 11: 6. Josh. 
17: 5, 14. 19: 9. 

Though Moses was the friend of the agriculturist, he by no 
means discouraged the keeper of the flock. 



<§ 56. Estimation in which Agriculture was held. 

The occupation of the husbandman was held in honour, not 
only for the profits which it brought, but from the circumstance, 
that it was supported and protected by the fundamental laws of 
the state. All who were not set apart for religious duties, such 
as the priests and the Levitcs, whether inhabitants of the country, 
or of towns and cities, were considered by the laws, and were in 
fact agriculturists. The rich and the noble, it is true, in the 
cultivation of the soil, did not always put themselves on a level 
with their servants, but none were so rich or so noble, as to dis- 
dain to put their hand to the plough, 1 Sum. 11:7. 1 Kgs. 19: 19. 
comp. 2 Chron. 26: 10. The priests and Levites were indeed en- 
gaged in other employments, yet they could not withhold their 
honour from an occupation, which supplied them with their in- 

The esteem in which agriculture was held, diminished as lux- 
ury increased ; but it never wholly came to an end. Even after 
the captivity, when many of the Jews had become merchants and 
mechanics, the esteem and honour attached to this occupation still 
continued, especially under the dynasty of the Persians, who were 
agriculturists from motives of religion. 

§ 57. Means of increasing Fertility. 

The soil of Palestine is very fruitful, if the dews and vernal 
and autumnal rains are not withheld. The country, in opposition 
to Egypt, is eulogized for its rains in Deut. 11: 10. The He- 
brews, notwithstanding the richness of the soil, endeavoured to 
increase its fertility in various ways. They not only divested it of 
stones, but watered it by means of canals, E'Vjbs, communicating 
with the rivers or brooks ; and thereby imparted to their fields the 
richness of gardens, Ps. 1:3. 65: 10. Prov.21:l. Is. 30: 25. 32:2,20. 
Hos. 12: 11. Springs, therefore, fountains, and rivulets, were held 
in as much honour and worth by husbandmen as by shepherds, Josh. 
15: 9. Judg. 1: 15 ; and we accordingly find, that the land of Ca- 
naan was extolled for those fountains of water, of which Egypt was 
destitute. The soil was enriched also, in addition to the method 



just mentioned, by means of ashes; to which the straw, p the 
stubble, u5j5, the husks, yi 72 , the brambles and grass, that over- 
spread the land during the sabbatical year, were reduced by fire. 
The burning over the surface of the land had also another good ef- 
fect, viz. that of destroying the seeds of the noxious herbs, Is. 7: 
23. 32: 13. Prov. 24: 31. Finally, the soil was manured with dung, 
Ps. 83: 10. 2 K. 9: 37. Is. 25: 10. Jer. 8: 2. 9: 22. 16: 4. 25: 33. 
Luke 14: 34, 35. 

§ 58. Different kinds of Grain. 

The Hebrew word ]xn , which is translated variously by the 
English words, grain, corn, &c. is of general signification, and com- 
prehends in itself different kinds of grain and pulse, such as wheat, 
nt2h ; millet, ]ED3 ; spelt, ; wall-barley, "jh^j; barley, FHiripj 

beans, lentils, tPttHjfr ; meadow-cumin, "pas ; peppervvort, 

tt!£p ; flax, !"TP)tt53 ; cotton, yy — 'Hips ; to these may be added va- 
rious species of the cucumber, and perhaps rice, iT-n&, Is. 28: 25. 
Rye and oats do not grow in the warmer climates, but their place 
is, in a manner, supplied by barley. Barley, mixed with broken 
straw, affords the fodder for beasts of burden, which is called . 
Wheat, MtafT, which by way of eminence is also called ]:n , grew 
in Egypt in the time of Joseph, as it now does in Africa, on stalks 
or branches, fr^ftpb , each one of which produced an ear, Gen. 
41: 47. This sort of wheat does not flourish in Palestine ; the 
wheat of Palestine is of a much better kind. Cotton, yy ^^S?» 
grows not only on trees of a large size, which endure for a num- 
ber of years, but also on shrubs, which are annually reproduced. 
It is enclosed in the nuts of the tree, if they may so be called from 
their resemblance to nuts. The nuts, when they are ripe, fall off ; 
they are then gathered and exposed to the sun, which causes them 
to increase to the size of an apple. When opened, they exhibit 
the cotton. There are a few seeds found in each of these nuts, 
which are sown again the following year. The cotton of the shrub, 
called yss, fivoGog, is celebrated for its whiteness. 


§ 59. Instruments of Agriculture. 

The culture of the soil was at first very simple, being perform- 
ed by no other instruments than sharp sticks. By these the ground 
was loosened, until spades and shovels, lfcp , and not long after 
ploughs, rnzHft», were invented. All these implements were 
well known in the time of Moses, Deut. 23: 13. Gen. 45: 6. Job 1: 
14. The first plough was doubtless nothing more than a stout 
limb of a tree, from which projected another shortened and point- 
ed limb. This being turned into the ground made the furrows ; 
while at the further end of the longer branch was fastened a trans- 
verse yoke, to which the oxen were harnessed. At last a handle 
was added, by which the plough might be guided. So that the 
plough was composed of four parts; the beam, the yoke, Jrtnfa, 

which was attached to the beam ; the handle, and what we 
should call the coulter, nfij , ta^nfi* , HttJlhJg, 1 Sam. 13:20,21. 
Micah 4: 3. (Pliny, N. H. xviii. 47, speaks of ploughs constructed 
with wheels, which in his day were of recent invention.) It was 
necessary for the ploughman constantly and firmly to hold the 
handle of the plough, which had no wheels, and, that no spot 
might remain untouched, to lean forward and fix his eyes steadily 
upon it, Luke 9: 62. Pliny, N. H. xviii. 49. no. 2. The staff by 
which the coulter was cleared, served for an ox-goad. In the East 
at the present day, they use a pole about eight feet in length ; at 
the largest end of which is fixed a flat piece of iron for clearing 
the plough, and at the other end a spike 'Jin? , h&vtqov, for spur- 
ring the oxen. Hence it appears that a goad might answer the 
purpose of a spear, which indeed had the same name "Jin? , 1 Sam. 
13:21. Judg. 3: 31. Sometimes a scourge to , was applied to 
the oxen, Is. 10: 26. Nah. 3: 2. There seems to have been no 
other harrow than a thick clump of wood, borne down by a weight, 
or a man sitting upon it, and drawn over the ploughed field by ox- 
en ; the same which the Egyptians use at the present time. In 
this way the turfs were broken in pieces, and the field levelled ; 
an operation which the word Tjlp seems properly to signify, viz., 
to level, since, in Is. 28: 24, 25, it is interchanged with tt-ritfi At 
a later period wicker-drags came into use, which Pliny mentions 
N. H. xviii. 43. 



The modern orientals, except in India, are unacquainted with 
the cart ; but formerly not only wagons h\5j? , riVa? , Gen. 45: 
19, 27. Num. 7: 3, 6, 7. 1 Sam. 9, 7, 8, 10, li [ 14.' 'Amos 2: 13. 
Is. 5:18. 28:28. and warlike chariots, tPHD"}, but also 

pleasure carriages SUsnJa, riiSna , rQSnE, were used, Gen. 41: 43. 
45. 19, 21. 2 K. 5: 9. 2 Sam/ 15: 1. Acts 8: 28. All the ancient 
vehicles were moved upon two wheels only. Covered coaches are 
known to have been used by ladies of distinction ; though this cir- 
cumstance is not mentioned in the Bible. 

§ 60. Animals used in Agriculture. 

The beasts of burden, that endured the toils of agriculture, 
were bulls and cows, he-asses and she-asses, Job 1: 14. 1 Sam. 
6: 7. Is. 30: 24. 32: 20. But it was forbidden to yoke an ass with 
an ox, Deut. 22: 10. Those animals, which in the scriptures are 
called oxen, were bulls, for the Hebrews were prohibited from 
castrating, although the law was sometimes violated, Mai. 1: 14. 
Bulls in the warmer climates, especially if they are not greatly 
pampered, are not so ungovernable, but that they may be har- 
nessed to the plough. If indeed any became obstinate by rich pas- 
turage, their nostrils were perforated, and a ring, made of iron or 
twisted cord, was thrust through, to which was fastened a rope ; 
which impeded his respiration to such a degree, that the most 
turbulent one might easily be managed, 2 Kings 19: 28. Is. 
37: 29. Ezek. 19: 4. Job 40: 24. By this ring also camels, ele- 
phants, and lions, taken alive, were rendered manageable. When 
bulls became old, their flesh was unsuitable for aliment ; for which 
reason they were left to die a natural death. For the old age of 
these animals, which had been their companions in labor, was 
treated by the Hebrews with kindness. Whence it is said, that, 
in the golden age, the slaughter of an ox will be equally criminal 
with the slaughter of a man, Is. 66: 3. Pliny, N. H. vii. 45, 56. 
Hence too among the Hebrews bulls possessed their appropriate 
dignity, so that tropes were drawn from them, by no means desti- 
tute of elegance, Num. 22: 4. Deut. 23: 17. 



§ 61. Preparation of the Land. 

Sowing commenced in the latter part of October ; at which time, 
as well as in the months of November and December following, the 
wheat was committed to the earth. Barley was sown in January 
and February. The land was ploughed, , fl'bti , and the quan- 
tity which was ploughed by a yoke of oxen, 17332 , in one day, was 
called a yoke, or an acre, 1 Sam. 14: 14. The yoke, JiB^E , 
Y$, was laid upon the necks and shoulders of the laboring animals, 
and with ropes, Elijah , biH , was made fast to the beam of the 
plough. The ox beneath the yoke afforded metaphors expres- 
sive of subjugation, Hosea 10: II. Is. 9:4. 10:27. Jer. 5:5. 
27: 2, 8—12. 30: 8. Nahum 1: 13. Ps. 129:3, 4. Matt. 11: 29, 30. 
The Syrians, according to Pliny, xviii. 3. ploughed shallow. The 
furrows, tF^niJ , and the ridges between them were harrowed 
and levelled,* n-jW, Job 39: 10. Is. 28: 24, 25. Hosea 10: 11. The 
seed was most probably committed to the soil in the harrowing, 
as Pliny relates. Yet it seems to have been customary in some 
cases formerly, as it is at present, to scatter the seed upon the 
field once ploughed, and cover it by a cross furrow. When it was 
prohibited by law to sow, either in field or vineyard, seed of a 
mixed kind, and crops of this nature became sacred, i. e. were giv- 
en to the priests, without doubt the seed-grain was carefully 
cleansed from all mixture of tares so often spoken of, and which 
we find denominated in the New Testament ^i&viov, in Arabic 

(jUys in Syriac j. ll*) , in the Talmud &3?i , and in Hebrew \L : tH 

and ttiVl. This law by no means referred to a.- poorer sort of 
grain, as the Talmudic writers suppose, but what may be called 
the intoxicating tare, from which the bread and the water in 
which it was boiled received an inebriating quality, and became 
very injurious to soundness of mind. The beverage formed by 
boiling tares and water, was called '^Kn "V2 , water of tares, also 
poison water, Deut. 29: 18, 19. Ps. 69: 21. Jer. 8: 14. 23: 15. 
Hos. 10: 4. The tares then, such were their injurious qualities, 
are very properly said to have been sown by an enemy, while 
the labourers were indulging sleep at noon, Matt. 13: 25 — 40. 

Consult, in reference to the law mentioned in this section, Lev. 
19: 19. and Deut. 22: 9. 



§ 62. HARVEST. 

§ 62. Harvest. 

In Palestine the crops are as far advanced in the month of 
February, as they are in this country in the month of May. At 
that time, when the grain has reached about a cubit in height, it 
is frequently so injured by cold winds and frost, that it does riot 
ear. The effect, thus produced upon the grain, is called pB*r£J 

or blasting. The common name for it in Arabic is not («O r >& , 

as Niebuhr declares, but (^J^ao, Genesis 41:6. Deut. 28: 22. 

2 Kgs. 19: 26. Sometimes, even in November, the crops are so an- 
noyed by easterly winds, as to turn yellow, and never to come to 
maturity. This calamity is denominated "pp"V, mildew, Deut. 
28: 22. Amos 4: 9. Hag. 2: 17. 1 Kgs. 8: 37. 2 Chron. 6: 23. But 
whether the opinion of the orientals, that these effects are occa- 
sioned by winds, is founded in truth, cannot, as it seems, be deter- 

The crops, in the southern parts of Palestine and in the plains, 
come to maturity about the middle of April ; but in the northern 
and the mountainous sections, they do not become ripe, till three 
weeks after, or even later. 

The cultivated fields are guarded by watchmen, who sit upon a 
seat hung in a tree, or on a watch-tower made of planks, and keep 
off birds, quadrupeds, and thieves, Jer. 4: 16, 17. Is. 24: 20. 
It was lawful for travellers, Deut. 23: 25. to strip ears from anoth- 
er's field and to eat ; but they were not to use a sickle. The se- < 
cond day of the passover, i. e. the sixteenth from the first new 
moon of April, the first handful of ripe barley was carried to the 
altar, and then the harvest TSjJ commenced, comp. John 4: 35. 
The barley was first gathered ; then the wheat, spelt, millet, &c. 
Exod. 9: 31, 32. Ruth 1: 22. 2: 23. The time of harvest was a 
festival. It continued from the passover until Penticost, seven 
weeks; and accordingly went by the name nipft nisatp, 

Deut. 16: 9 — 12. Jer. 5:24. — The reapers were masters, chil- 
dren, men-servants, maidens and mercenaries, Ruth 2: 4,8, 21, 23. 
John 4: 36. James 5: 4. Merry and cheerful, they were intent 
upon their labour, and the song of joy might be heard on every 



side, Is. 9: 3. 61: 7. Ps. 126: 6. Travellers congratulated them 
on the rich harvest ; which was attributed to the beneficence of De- 
ity and considered a great honour ; while, on the other hand, steril- 
ity of the soil was supposed to be a divine punishment and a dis- 
grace, Lev. 26: 4. Deut. 11: 14. 28: 12—24. Is. 4: 2. Hag. 1: 
5 — 11. Mai. 3: 10, 11. Anciently the ears were plucked off, or 
the stalks pulled up by the roots, which is still the custom in some 
eastern countries. It was esteemed servile labour by the Phari- 
sees, and a profanation of the sabbath, when done on that day, 
Matt. 12: 1 — 5. The Hebrews used the sickle, tiiEnn, b2E, Deut. 
16: 9. Joel 3: 13. Jer. 50: 16 ; so that the stubble xj> remained 
in the earth. The crops when reaped were gathered up by the 
arms, and bound in bundles, Gen. 37: 7. Levit. 23: 10 — 15. Job 
24: 10. Ruth 2: 7, 15, 16. Amos 2: 13. Mic. 4: 12. Jer. 9: 21, 
22. At length the bundles were collected into a heap, titt^ , or 
conveyed away on a wagon, Amos 2: 13. Ps. 126: 6. But the 
corners of the field irniB ni*5 , and the gleanings ttpb , were re- 
quired to be left for the poor, Levit. 19: 9. Deut. 24: 19. Ruth 2: 
2, 23. The land in the East generally yields ten fold, rarely, 
twenty or thirty ; but Matt. 13: 8. the land yielded thirty, sixty and 
an hundred fold, and, Gen. 26: 12. an hundred fold. Herodotus, 
Strabo, and Pliny mentioned the increase of crops at the rate of 
one hundred and fifty, two hundred, and even three hundred 
fold. This great increase is owing to the circumstance of the 
kernels being put into the soil at a distance from each other, so 
as to send out several stalks, Gen. 41: 5, 47. some of which, 
(according to Pliny, N. H. xviii. 21, 55.) have from three to four 
hundred ears ; and in Africa at the present time, they bear at least 
ten and fifteen. 

§ 63. Threshing Floor, "p.ii. 

The bundles were transported into the threshing floor either by 
hand, or by beasts of burden, or in wagons, Amos 2: 13. and piled in 
a heap, Exod. 22: 6. Judg. 15: 5. A bundle left in the field, even 
though discovered, was not to be taken up, but left to the poor, 
Deut. 24: 19. The threshing floor was in the field, in some ele- 
vated part of it ; it was destitute of walls and covering ; and in- 
deed was nothing more than a circular space thirty or forty paces 
in diameter, where the ground had been levelled and beaten down, 



Gen. 50: 10. 2 Sam. 24: 16, 24. Judg. 6: 37. etc. The assemblage 
of bundles in the floor for threshing, was used figuratively to de- 
note reservation for future destruction, Mic. 4: 13. Is. 21 : 10. 
Jer. 51: 33. 

§ 64. Threshing. 

At first the grain was beaten out with cudgels. Afterwards 
this method was retained only in respect to the smaller kinds of 
grain and in threshing small quantities, Ruth 2: 17. Is. 28: 27. At 
a later period, it was trodden out by the hoofs of oxen, Is. 28: 
28. Deut. 25: 4. or beaten out with machines of the same kind, 
that are used in the East at the present day. All these modes of 
threshing are called tin. Three kinds of instruments, however, 
are mentioned. The first, called Di:p")Z , is not well known. Per- 
haps it was a square piece of wood, armed on the lower side with 
sharp stones. The second, called Jnift, was composed of four 
beams joined so as to form a square, between which were set 
three revolving cylinders, each one of which was furnished with 
three iron wheels, having teeth like a saw ; (see Archaeol. Germ. 
P. I. T. 1. tab. IV. no. VII.) The third, y n nn , was formed like 
the preceding, except that the cylinders were not furnished with 
iron wheels, but with sharp pieces of iron six inches long and 
three broad. Possibly this may be the same kind with the first. 
These machines, upon which the driver sat, were fastened to the 
oxen, and were driven round upon the bundles, which were brok- 
en open and were deposited in the circle of the area six or eight 
feet in height. In this manner the grain was beaten out of the 
ears, and the straw itself broken in pieces, which in this state was 
called pp. Another man followed the machine with a wooden 
instrument, and placed the grain in order. Threshing frequently 
stands figuratively for a great slaughter ; and if the machine is 
said to be new, when it is usually the sharpest, it denotes a slaugh- 
ter proportionably greater. The victorious people are some- 
times represented as a huge machine, that threshes and crumbles 
even mountains and hills, like straw. But the conquered are al- 
ways prostrated upon the earth, like the bundles on the threshing 
floor, and ground to powder by the instruments, Judg. 8: 7. 2 Sam. 
12: 31. Amos 1: 3. Micah 4: 12, 13. In Deut. 25: 4, it was for- 



bidden to muzzle the ox, that was treading out the corn, comp. 
1 Cor. 9: 9—12. 1 Tim. 5: 18. and the cattle which drew the 
threshing machine, were allowed to eat of it to the full. In refer- 
ence to this circumstance, threshing denoted figuratively a splen- 
did manner of life. 

§ 65. Ventilation. 

The grain being threshed, was thrown into the middle of the 
threshing floor ; it was then exposed with a fork to a gentle wind, 
Jer. 4: 11, 12. which separated the broken straw, and chaff, 

Y'TD ; so that the kernels and clods of earth with grain cleaving 
to them, and the ears not yet thoroughly threshed fell upon the 
ground. The clods of earth, as is customary in the East at the 
present day, were collected, broken in pieces, and separated from 
the grain by a sieve, ft*lH3.. Sifting was accordingly used as a 
symbol of misfortune and overthrows, Amos 9: 9. Luke 22: 31. 
The heap thus winnowed which still contained many ears, that 
were broken, but not fully threshed out, was again exposed in 
the threshing floor, and several yoke of oxen driven over it for 
the purpose of treading out the remainder of the grain. At length 
the grain, mingled with the chaff, was again exposed to the wind 
by a fan which was called fnttt , nxvov ; which bore off the chaff, 
y'lfc, so that the pure wheat fell upon the floor, Ruth 3: 2. Is. 30: 
24. This operation was symbolical of the dispersion of a van- 
quished people ; also of the separation between the righteous and 
the wicked, Is. 41: 15, 16. Jer. 13: 24. 15: 7. 51: 2. Job 21: 18. 
Ps. 1: 4. 35: 5. 83: 13. Matt. 3: 12. Luke 3: 17. The scattered 
straw, as much at least as was required for the manufacturing of 
bricks and the fodder of cattle, was collected, but the residue, 
with the chaff and stubble, as has been stated above, was reduced 
to ashes by fire ; which afforded a figurative illustration to denote 
the destruction of wicked men, Is. 5: 24. 47: 14. Joel 2: 5. Obad. 
18. Nahum 1: 10. Jer. 15: 7. Malachi 4: 1. Matt. 3: 12. Original- 
ly the grain thus obtained from the earth was kept in subterra- 
nean storehouses, and even caverns ; but in progress of time grana- 
ries above the earth were built, both in Egypt and Palestine, see 
Gen. 41: 35. Exod. 1: 11. 1 Chron. 27: 28. 




§ 66. Of Vines and Vineyards. 

Among other objects of agriculture, the vine may justly be 
considered worthy of particular attention. 

Vines, tPasa , in some parts of the East, for instance on the 
southern shore of the Caspian sea, grow spontaneously , produc- 
ing grapes of a pleasant taste, which, in the very first ages of the 
world, could not but have invited the attention of men to their cul- 
tivation. Hence mention is made of wine at an early period, Gen. 
9: 21. 14: 18. 19: 32—35. 27: 25. 49: 11, 12. The Hebrews 
were no less diligent in the culture of vineyards, than of fields for 
grain ; and the soil of Palestine yielded in great quantities the best 
of wine. The mountains of Engedi in particular, the valley of salt- 
pits, and the vallies of Eshcol and Sorek were celebrated for their 
grapes. Sorek indeed, was not only the proper name of a valley, but 
also of a very fruitful vine, which bore small, but uncommonly sweet 
and pleasant grapes. In the kingdom of Morocco at the present 
time, the same vine is called Serki, the name being slightly alter- 
ed, see Pliny, xvii. 35. no. 5. In a few instances the wine of 
mount Libanus and Helbon is extolled in the scriptures, Hos. 14: 
7. Ezek. 27: 18. In Palestine even at the present day, the clus- 
ters of the vine grow to the weight of 12 pounds ; they have large 
grapes, and cannot be carried far by one man, without being injur- 
ed, Num. 13: 24, 25. The grapes of Palestine are mostly red or 
black ; whence originated the phrase, " blood of grapes" E^3S; tH 
Gen. 49: 11. Deut. 32: 14. Is. 27: 2. Some vines in eastern 
countries, when supported by trees, grow to a great height and 
magnitude ; of such are made the staves and sceptres of kings. 

The vine growing spontaneously, of which we have spoken, 
is not that which in 2 Kings 4: 39, is called the " wild vine," 
Jflibn , for that, (as the Vulgate rightly translates,) is the colo- 
cyntis or wild gourd, which in Jer. 2: 21. is called Fi^pJ W&f 
the degenerate or strange vine. The vine of Sodom tnp ]E>2 is the 
solanum melangenae, the fruit of which, as was said above, is called 
Uii^ ^535? , or the poisonous clusters. 


§ 67. Situation and Arrangement of Vineyards. 

Vineyards, tTE'-o, E^D , were generally planted on the decliv- 
ity of hills and mountains. They were sometimes planted in pla- 
ces, where the soil had been heaped by art upon the naked 
rocks, and was supported there merely by a wall, Is. 5: 1. Jer. 
31: 5. Joel 3: 18. Amos 9: 13. Micah t: 6. According to Strabo 
and Pliny, there were also very fine vineyards in moors and wet 
lands, in which the vines grew to a very great height. Of the 
vines, that grew upon such a kind of soil, were fabricated the scep- 
tre, &c. spoken of above, whilst the branches of other vines were 
destined to be fuel for the flames, Ezek. 17: 1—8. 19: 10, 11, 12. 
15: 1—5. 

Vines were commonly propagated by means of suckers, tP*V!£p . 
Pliny (xvii. 35. no. 6.) says, vines were of four kinds ; viz, those that 
ran on the ground ; those that grew upright of themselves ; those 
that adhered to a single prop ; and those that covered a square 
frame. It is not my design to treat of all these : it may suffice 
merely to mention, that Pliny is by no means correct, when he 
says, the custom prevailed in Syria and all Asia, of letting the vines 
run on the ground. This indeed accords with Ezekiel 17: 6, 7 ; 
but that vines frequently grew to a great height, being supported 
by trees and props, or standing upright of themselves, the prover- 
bial phrase, which so often occurs, of sitting under one's own vine 
and fig-tree. i. e. enjoying a prosperous and happy life, is sufficient 
proof, Jer. 5: 17. 8: 13. Hos. 2: 12. Mic. 4: 4. Zech. 3: 10. The 
prohibition, Deut. 22: 9, to sow vineyards with divers seeds, and 
the command, that what was thus sown should be given to the 
priests, are not to be understood of the vines, but of herbs, which 
were sown in the intervals between them. Vineyards were defend- 
ed by a hedge or wall, ftSsjto», "n*, Num. 22: 24. Ps. 80: 12. 
Prov. 24: 31. Is. 5: 5. 27: 2, 3. Jer. 49: 3. Neh. 4: 3. Matt. 
21: 33. In the vineyards were erected towers, Is. 5: 2. Matt. 21: 
33 ; which, at the present time in eastern countries, are thirty 
feet square, and eighty feet high. These towers were for keep- 
ers, who defended the vineyards from thieves, and from animals, 
especially dogs and foxes, Cant. 1:6. 2: 15. By the law in Deut. 
23: 25, the keeper was commanded not to prohibit the passing tra- 


veller from plucking the grapes, which he wished to eat on his 
way, provided he did not carry them off in a vessel. 

§68. Culture of Vineyards. 

The manner of trimming the vine, . and also the singular 
instrument of the vine-dresser, ft*i»T»> were well known even in 
the time of Moses, Lev. 25: 3, 4. compare Is. 2: 4. 5: 6. 18: 5. 
Mic. 4: 3. Joel 3: 10. A vintage from new vineyards was forbid- 
den for the first three years, Exod. 34: 26. and Num. 18: 11. and 
the grapes also of the fourth year were consecrated to sacred pur- 
poses; the vines therefore, without doubt, during these first years, 
were so pruned, as that few sprouts remained. On the fifth year 
when they were first profaned, bVfr , i. e. put to common use, they 
had become sturdy and exuberant. Pruning at three several times, 
viz, in March, April, and May, is mentioned not only by Bochart, 
but by Pliny ; and Homer speaks of it as a thing well known, 
Odyss. vii. 120. The Hebrews dug, pty , their vineyards, and gath- 
ered out the stones, ^J>D . The young vines, unless trees were 
at hand, were wound around stakes ; and around those vines which 
ran on the ground were dug narrow trenches in a circular form, to 
prevent the wandering shoots from mingling with each other. 
These practices in the cultivation of the vine are to be duly con- 
sidered in those allegories, which are drawn from vineyards, Is. 
5: i__7. 27: 2-6. Ps. 80: 9—13. Matt. 21: 33—46. 

§ 69. Vintage and Wine-press. 

The vintage, -p£3 , in Syria, commences about the middle of 
September, and continues till the middle of November. But grapes 
in Palestine, we are informed, were ripe sometimes even in June 
and July ; which arose perhaps from a triple pruning, in which case 
there was also a third vintage. The first vintage was in August, 
which month in Num. 13. 20, is called 6^335 *$tiBCl W ; the sec- 
ond in September, and the third in October. The grapes when not 
gathered were sometimes found on the vines, until November and 
December. The Hebrews were required to leave gleanings for the 
poor, Levit. 19: 10. 

The season of vintage was a most joyful one, Judg. 9: 27. 



Is. 16: 10. Jer. 25: 30. 48: 33. With shoutings on all sides, the 
grapes were plucked off and carried to the wine-press, STil®, 
Xtjvog, which was in the vineyard, Is. 5: 2. Zech. 14: 10. Hag. 
2: 16. Matt. 21: 33. Rev. 14: 19, 20. The presses consisted 
of two receptacles, which were either built of stones and covered 
with plaster, or hewn out of a large rock. The upper receptacle, 
called nit , as it is constructed at the present time in Persia, is near- 
ly eight feet square and four feet high. Into this the grapes are 
thrown and trodden out by five men. The juice, -JiVn, flows out 
into the lower receptacle, called 3jg* , through a grated aperture, 
which is made in the side near the bottom of the upper one. 

The treading of the wine-press was laborious and not very fa- 
vourable to cleanliness ; the garments of the persons thus employ- 
ed were stained with the red juice, and yet the employment was 
a joyful one. It was performed with singing, accompanied with 
musical instruments ; and the treaders, as they jumped, exclaimed, 
*HT: , (ho up,) Is. 16: 9, 10. Jer. 25: 30. 48: 32, 33. Figurative- 
ly, vintage, gleaning, and treading the wine-press, signified battles 
and great slaughters, Is. 17: 6. 63: 1 — 3. Jer. 49: 9. Lam. 1: 15. 
The must, as is customary in the East at the present day, was pre- 
served in large firkins, which were buried in the earth. The 
wine-cellars were not subterranean, but built upon the earth. 
When deposited in these, the firkins, as is done at the present time 
in Persia, were sometimes buried in the ground, and sometimes 
left standing upon it. Formerly also new wine or must was pre- 
served in leathern bottles ; and lest they should be broken by fer- 
mentation, the people were careful that the bottles should be new, 
Job 32: 19. Matt. 9: 17. Mark 2: 22. Sometimes the must was 
boiled and made into syrup, which is comprehended under the 
term Sia^r, although it is commonly rendered honey, Gen. 43: 11. 
2 Chron. 31: 5. Sometimes the grapes were dried in the sun and 
preserved in masses, which were called E^S* *1j£' , 12?fi$ and d"]?*!^ , 
1 Sam. 25: 18. 2 Sam. 16: 1. 1 Chron. 12: 40. Hosea 3: 1. From 
these dried grapes, when soaked in wine and pressed a second time, 
was manufactured sweet wine, which is also called new wine, 'diVFi, 
yUvxog, Acts 2: 13. 


§ 70. GARDENS. 

§ 70. Gardens. 

Culinary plants and fruit-trees were among the first objects 
of agriculture. Gardens, accordingly, were very ancient, and have 
always been numerous. By the Hebrews they were called Q^a , fa 
IYISA, nsa ; afterwards, the Persian name D^^S , nagadeiaog, 
paradise, was introduced. The later Hebrews were invited the 
more to the cultivation of gardens by the example of the Syrians, 
whom Pliny extols for this species of agriculture, above all other 
nations. — Trees were multiplied by seeds and shoots ; they were 
transplanted, dug around, manured, and pruned, Job 8: 16. Is. 17: 
10. Grafting- occurs figuratively, Rom. 11: 17, 24. — The gardens 
in Persia at the present day are disposed in good order ; those in 
the Ottoman empire are very rude, displaying hardly any indica- 
tions of art, except a fountain or receptacle of waters, which is 
never wanting. 

In the scriptures, gardens are denominated from the preva- 
lence of certain trees ; as the garden of nuts, \SM& nsa , and the 
garden of Carthaginian apples or pomegranates, D**: 173*1 D^SJ ; 
Cant. 6: 11. The forest of palms also, in the plain of Jericho, 
was only a large garden, in which other trees were interspersed 
among the palms, Strabo, p. 768. The modern orientals are no 
less fond of gardens than were the ancient Hebrews ; not only be- 
cause they yield the richest fruits, but because the shade is very 
refreshing, and the air is cooled by the waters, of which their 
gardens are never allowed to be destitute, 1 K. 21: 2. 2 K. 
25:4. Hos. 9: 13. Cant. 4: 13. 6:11. Eccles. 2: 5. John 18: 1. 
19: 41. 20: 15. The Hebrews had an attachment to gardens as 
a place of burial ; hence they frequently built sepulchres in them, 
2 K. 9: 27. 21: 18. Mark 15: 46. Matt. 26: 36. John 18: 1, 2. 
A pleasant region is called " a garden of God," i. e. a region ex- 
tremely pleasant. The trees which the gardens constantly dis- 
played are often used figuratively for men. Those which are 
flourishing and fruitful denote good men ; the unfruitful and bar- 
ren, toicked men, and lofty cedars in particular are ,the emblems of 
kings, Job. 29: 19. Ps. 1: 3. 92: 12—14. Hos. 14: 6, 7. Jer. 17: 8. 
Dan. 4: 10—16. Luke 23: 31. Matt. 3: 10. 7: 17—20. 12: 33. 
Ezek. 17: 3, 4. 31: 3, 13. Indeed an assembly of men is com- 

§71. OLIVE TREES. 79 

pared to a forest, and a multitude of wicked men to briers, Is. 9: 
10. 10: 19, 33, 34. 11:1. Several trees, which are often mention- 
ed in the scriptures, but not very well known, we shall now de- 
scribe in a few words. 

§ 71. Olive Trees. 

Olive Trees, tJWT , rPT , were a very ancient and profitable ob- 
ject of agriculture. Its branches as early as Gen. 8: 11, and since 
that time among all nations, have been a symbol of peace and 
prosperity. Oil is first mentioned, Gen. 28: 18. Job 24: 11, which 
proves the cultivation of this tree to have been very ancient. 
Olives in Palestine are of the best growth and afford the best oil ; 
hence this region is often extolled on account o f this tree, and es- 
pecially in opposition to Egypt, which is destitute of good olives, 
Num. 18: 12. Deut. 7: 13. 11: 14. 12: 17. 18: 4. Land that is bar- 
ren, sandy, dry and mountainous, is favourable to the production 
of the olive. The mount of Olives derives its name from this 
tree. The olive is pleasant to the view, having widely extended 
branches, and remaining green in winter. Its multiplied branches 
entitled it to become the symbol of a numerous progeny, a bless- 
ing which was attributed to the peculiar favour of God, Ps. 52: 8. 
128: 3. Hos. 14: 6. Jer. 11: 16, 17. It flourishes about two hun- 
dred years, and even while it is living, young olives spring up 
around it which occupy its place when dead ; the young sprouts 
are called rPT ife'TOS , Ps. 128: 3. It was customary, notwithstand- 
ing, to raise the tree from suckers, which were transplanted. It 
requires no other cultivation than digging the ground and pruning 
the branches. The fruit is very pleasant to the palate, but near- 
ly all of it is thrown into the oil press, for the purpose of procur- 
ing the oil, of which there are sometimes one thousand pounds ob- 
tained from one tree. By means of this article, the Hebrews car- 
ried on an extensive commerce with the Tyrians, Ezek. 27: 17. 
comp. 1 Kgs. 5: 11 ; they also sent presents of oil to the kings of 
Egypt, Hos. 12: 1. The berries of the olive tree were some- 
times plucked or carefully shaken off by the hand, before they 
were ripe, Is. 17: 6. 24: 13. Deut. 24: 20. If, while they were 
yet green, instead of being cast into the press, they were only 
beaten and squeezed, they yielded the best kind of oil ; it was call- 


§ 72. FIG-TREES. 

ed omphacinum, or the oil of unripe olives, and also beaten or fresh 
oil, rpns ?JT rPT "jEtt , Exod. 27 1 20. There were presses of 
a peculiar make for pressing oil, called na , (from which 
is derived the name Gethsemane, Matt. 26: 36. John 18: 1.) in 
which the oil was trodden out by the feet, Micah 6: 15. The 
first expression of the oil was better than the second, and the 
second than the third. Ripe olives yielded oil of a less valuable 
kind. The best sort of oil was mixed with spices and used for 
ointment : the inferior sort was used with food. In sacrifices, ac- 
cordingly, which were in a certain sense the feasts of God, the 
king and ruler of the people, the use of oil was commanded, Lev. 
2: 1, 5, 7, 15. 6: 15. 

Note. — The cotinus, xortvog, and the oleaster, dygukaiog, are 
both called wild olive trees. They are nevertheless of different 
kinds, though they are sometimes confounded by the Greeks them- 
selves. The fruit of the cotinus is used for no other purpose than 
colouring ; but the oleaster, the Agrippa Elaeagnus of Linneus, 
"jEnp , is that species of wild olive, whose branches, (see Schulz, 
in Paulus' Collection of Travels, VI. 290.) are grafted into barren 
olive trees, that are in a state of cultivation, in order that fruitful- 
ness may be produced, comp. Rom. 11: 17, 24. 

§ 72. Fig-trees. 

Fig-trees, fc^Ntft , SrbNF) , are very common in Palestine. They 
flourish in a dry and sandy soil. They are not shrubs, as in our 
gardens, but trees, not altogether erect, and yet tall and leafy. 
The shade of the fig-tree is very pleasant, and was well known to 
the Hebrews, Micah 4: 4. Fig-trees begin to sprout at the time 
of the vernal equinox, Luke 21: 29, 30. Matt. 24: 32. The fruit 
makes its appearance before the leaves and flowers ; the foliage 
expands about the end of March, Matt. 21: 19. Mark 11: 13. The 
figs are of three kinds. I. The untimely Jig, which puts forth at the 
vernal equinox, and before it is ripe is called as , the green fig, 
but when ripe, the untimely fig, Cant. 2: 13. Hos. 9: 10. Jer. 24: 2. 
It comes to maturity the latter part of June, comp. Mark 11: 13. 
Matt. 21: 19 ; and in relish surpasses the other kinds, Jer. 24: 2. 
II. The summer or dry Jig. It appears about the middle of June, 



and comes to maturity in August. III. The winter Jig, which ger- 
minates in August, and does not ripen until the falling of the 
leaves, which is about the end of November. It is longer and of 
a browner colour, than the others. All figs when ripe, but espe- 
cially the untimely, fall spontaneously, Nahum 3: 12. The early 
figs are eaten, but some are dried in the sun and preserved in 
masses, which are called tstffift , ilbi? , 1 Sam. 25: 18. 30: 12, 
2 K. 20: 7. 1 Chron. 12: 40. ' The parable in Luke 13: 6. et seq. 
is founded in the oriental mode of gardening ; and the method of 
improving the palm, whose barrenness may be remedied in the way 
there mentioned, is transferred to the fig-tree. 

Note. — The sycamore, b' 1 »j?U3 , in size and figure resembles the 
mulberry-tree, and is very common not only in Egypt, but in Ju- 
dea, especially in the low lands, 1 Chron. 27: 28. 2 Chron. 1: 15. 
9: 27. Ps. 78: 47. Its body is large and its branches numerous, 
growing nearly in a horizontal direction ; by means of its branch- 
es it is easy of ascent, Luke 19: 4, 5. It is always green. Its wood, 
which is of a dark hue, endures a thousand years, and was there- 
fore much used in building, I Chron. 27: 28. Is. 9: 10. Its fruit, 
which does not spring from the branches and among the leaves, 
but from the trunk itself, resembles the fig, though it is destitute 
of seeds. It is very luscious, and hence hurtful to the stomach : 
it is not, therefore, eaten, except for the want of something better. 
The fruit does not ripen unless it is opened, fc^ra , by the nail or a 
piece of iron, so that the juice, which resembles milk, may be 
emitted ; then, as the wound grows black, it comes to maturity, 
Am. 7: 14. The tree is very productive, yielding its fruits seven 
times a year, and affording a supply of food for the poor, during 
four months of the year ; comp. my Arabic Chrestomathy, p. 114. 

§ 73. The Pomegranate, l ji;a*y. 

The tree, which bears this name, grows in Persia, Arabia, 
Egypt, and Palestine. It is not a tall tree, and at a little distance 
from the ground, shoots out into a multitude of branches ; in con- 
sequence of which, it is considered by some merely a shrub. The 
fruit it bears is very beautiful to the eye, and pleasant to the pal- 
ate ; it is about the size of a large apple, say, two or three inches 


§ 74. THE BALSAM. 

in diameter, and is encircled at the upper part with something re- 
sembling a crown. At first it exhibits a green appearance, but in 
August and September it appears of a reddish colour, approximating 
to a brown ; the rind is thick and hard, but easily broken. The in- 
terior of the pomegranate is of a yellow colour. There seems to 
be a number of internal rinds, which are soft and rich, and afford 
a juice, which from its effect on the palate may be called bitter- 
sweet. The seeds are sometimes white, and sometimes purple, 
Num. 20: 5. Deut. 8: 8. The artificial pomegranates, made to 
resemble the natural ones, were no small ornament, Exod. 28: 33, 
34. 1 K. 7: 18. 

Note. Citron and orange-trees appear to have been transplanted 
at some recent period from Persia into Palestine. Had they been 
native productions of Palestine, the Hebrews clearly would not 
have wanted a name for them ; for the phrase, ^yr\ y$ **\B the 
fruit of a goodly tree, Lev. 23: 40, means neither the citron nor the 
orange, but the fruit of any rich tree whatever, for instance the 
pomegranate or date. 

§ 74. The Balsam. 

The balsam is both a fruit and a tree. The odoriferous bal- 
sam, so salutary in some cases to health, Heb. , is not gathered 
from the tree in Yemen called by the Arabic name Abu Shamm, 
but is distilled from a fruit, which is indigenous on the mountains 
of Mecca and Medina. 

The fruit, which produces this distillation, was found to be 
cultivated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Egypt, at 
Matara, not far from Grand Cairo, in gardens. That it was culti- 
vated in this way at a very ancient period in Gilead, and also in 
the vicinity of Jericho and Engedi, appears from many passages 
of scripture, Gen. 37: 25. 43: 11. Jer. 8: 22. 46: 11. 51: 8 ; see 
also the History of Tacitus, Bk. V. c. 6. Josephus in his Jewish 
War, Bk. IV. c. 8. §3. compared with his Antiquities, Bk. VIII. c. 
6. § 6. Bk. XX. c. 4. § 2.— Pliny's Natural Hist. Bk. XII. 2. Di- 
odorus Siculus, XIX. c. 98. Strabo 7G3, and Justin Trogus, XXXVI. 
c. 2. So that the conjectures and statements, brought against 
what is here stated, cannot hold. There are three species of the 

§ 75. THE PALM. 83 

balsam, two are shrubs, the other is a tree. They yield their sap in 
June, July, and August, which is received into an earthen vessel. 
The fruit also, when pierced by some instrument, emits a juice of 
the same kind, and in more abundance, but less rich. The sap, 
extracted from the body of the tree or shrub, is called the opobal- 
samum ; the juice of the balsam fruit is denominated carpobal- 
samum, and the liquid, extracted from the branches when cut off, 
the xylobalsamum. 

§ 75. The palm, *l33Tj, cpo~ipi%. . 

The palm-tree is very common in the countries of the East and 
in Africa. It is not very frequently found in Palestine at the pre- 
sent day ; the reason is, a want of cultivators. It requires men, 
who are skilful and experienced, to make a palm grove flourish- 
ing and productive. At a very early period, however, they were 
quite numerous even in Palestine. This 1 we may learn from Lev. 
23: 40. Deut. 34: 3. Judg. 1: 16. 3: 13. 4: 6. and from many pro- 
fane writers ; and also from the ancient coins of the Jews and Ro- 
mans, which exhibit the palm, a sheaf of wheat, and a cluster of 
grapes, as the symbols of the Jewish nation. The palm flourishes 
most in a warm climate, and in case there is a sufficiency of wa- 
ter, in clayey, sandy, and nitrous soils. It is, therefore, commonly 
found most flourishing in vallies and plains, Exod. 15: 27. It as- 
cends very straight, and very lofty, being destitute of limbs, except 
very near the top, where it is surmounted with a crown of foliage, that 
is always green. The figure of the palm-tree was carved in orna- 
mental work, 1 K. 6: 32 ; and it is used figuratively, as a symbol 
of a beautiful person, Cant. 7: 8. and also of a religious, upright 
man, Ps. 1, 3. 92: 12. The dates grow on small stems, which 
germinate at the angles formed by the stock of the tree and the 
branches. Palm trees exhibit what may be termed a sexual dis- 
tinction, and, in order to any fruits being produced, the seed from 
the flowers of the masculine palm must be borne at the proper 
season to the tree of an opposite character. If this is not done, 
or if it happen too early or too late, the female palm, like the 
male, bears no fruit. The productions of the palm are large clus- 
ters of dates, which become ripe in August, September, and Octo- 
ber. Some of the dates are eaten in their crude state ; the rest 


are strained through a press woven of osiers, and after the juice 
is forced out, are reduced into solid masses, and .are preserved. 
The juice pressed out is the date wine, formerly very celebrated ; 
under which name was also comprehended the beverage, which 
was procured from clusters of dry dates steeped in warm water, 
and then pressed. The Hebrews at the feast of tabernacles bore 
palm branches in their hands ; they also strewed them in the 
way before the kings, as they entered on public occasions into 
their cities, Lev. 23: 40. 1 Mac. 13: 51. Matt. 21: 8. The Greeks 
gave a branch of the palm to those, who conquered in the games, 
comp. Rev. 7: 9. This tree is regarded by the orientals, of all 
others as the most excellent and noble. Hence the saying from 
the branch, i. e. the palm branch, to the rush or reed, expressions 
which are interchangeable with the head and tail, i;tl ©fill, and 
mean the same thing, as the phrase " from the highest to the low- 
est," Is. 9: 14. 19: 15. 

§ 76. Terebinths and Pistacias. 

I'ercbinths are called in Heb. ji^fig j.fc^i* , «ibfct , &c. which 
words are sometimes confounded and interchanged with trVtt and 
■p&N , which mean the oak. The terebinths are a large tree, 
are loaded with branches and foliage, and are green through the 
whole year. They live a thousand years, and when they die, 
leave in their place a scion, which in time spreads a like luxuri- 
ance of foliage, and lives to a like number of years ; so that, 
where they once appear, they may be said to be perpetuated. It 
was for this reason, viz. the comparative perpetuity, which was at- 
tached to them, that places were denominated from them, as from 
cities, Gen. 13: IS. Judg. 6: 11. 1 Sam. 10: 3. Is. 6: 13. Ezek. 6: 
13. They are used figuratively as symbols of the good, who in Is. 
61: 3, are called terebinths of righteousness, pn2| ^"fij . 

The pistacia is a tree, very much like the terebinth. It bears 
a very rich species of nuts; which hang in clusters, C^Bat , Gen. 
43: 11. and which become ripe in October. They somewhat re- 
semble almonds in appearance, but are of a much better flavour; 
and are, therefore, most valued by the orientals. Walnuts, "hitf , 
are common in Palestine ; but hazel nuts are scarce, if indeed 
they are found there at all. The word nb, which some suppose 
to mean the hazel nut, is the name of the almond. 



§ 77. Bees and Honey. 

Palestine has been often called the land flowing with milk and 
honey. This is a proverbial expression, and is applied to any 
fruitful land, for instance, Egypt in Num. 16: 13. Still it must be 
confessed, that bees were very numerous in Palestine, not only in 
the hives, which were built for them of clay mixed with broken 
straw, but frequently in the woods, in the hollow trees, and the 
fissures of rocks, Deut. 32: 13. Ps. 81: 17. They possess a keen 
animosity, and a very efficient sting, and when they have a dispo- 
sition, attack to good purpose individuals and even large bodies 
of men. They are consequently used by a figure of speech to 
represent violent and ferocious enemies, Deut. 1: 44. Ps. 118: 11, 
12. They could be allured, by any thing that made a tinkling 
sound, to any particular place, Is. 7: 18. The Hebrews took great 
care of these little animals ; as is evident from the abundance of 
honey which they possessed, and were able to exchange in their 
traffic with the Tyrians, Ezek. 27: 17. Hence honey is often men- 
tioned in the Bible, both the comb, S^ri ne: , fxeXlaaoov y.rjglov , 
and the liquid honey, fjstet, Xtt . It should be remarked, that the 
word '^57 , which means liquid honey, may also mean the sirup 
of dates and must, Gen. 43: 11. Wild honey, ^itlt aygiov , rnsp 
un^n, is likewise spoken of, 1 Sam. 14:25 — 27. Matt. 3: 4. This 
was.not the honey of bees, found in the fissures of rocks; for this 
occurs under the phrase, 9\lD12 f2- , Deut. 32: 13. Ps. 81:17. 
Nor was it the liquid manna, called terengabin, although this man- 
na was formerly comprehended under the common word for hon- 
ey. It is what has been called the honey dew, i. e. the excre- 
ments, which certain little insects, called by Linneus, Aphides, 
emit very copiously upon the leaves of trees, so much that it flows 
down upon the ground, 1 Sam. 14: 15—27. 

The ancients used honey instead of sugar, and loved it much ; 
it is hence used tropically as an image of pleasure and happiness, 
Ps. 119: 103. Prov. 24: 13, 14. Cant. 4: 11. When taken in great 
quantities it causes vomiting, and is consequently used by a figure 
to express fastidiousness, or any nauseating sensation, Prov. 25: 
16, 17. 



§ 78. Fishing. 

Fish were esteemed by the Hebrews, as by all the orientals, 
a great delicacy, Nam. 11: 5. In consequence of being held in 
such estimation, they were taken in great numbers from the river 
Jordan and the lake Gennesareth. Those only, which were des- 
titute of scales or fins, were interdicted, Lev. 11:9. Hence men- 
tion is made of the fish-gate at Jerusalem, so called from the cir- 
cumstance of fish being sold there, 2 Chr. 33: 14. Neh. 3: 3. 12: 39. 
Is. 19: 8. Ezek. 26: 5, 14. 47: 10. Fishermen are used tropically 
for enemies, Is. 19: 8. Hab. 1: 15. Strabo says, there was a great 
trade carried on in fish at the lake Gennesareth. Some of the 
apostles living near the lake were fishermen, and this class of men 
were in general active, experienced, and apt, Luke 5: 1. et seq. 
comp. Matt. 4: 19. The instruments used in fishing, were a hook, 
r^h Job 41: 1. Is. 19:8. Hab. 1: 15; an iron spear, XPX\ b^Vs 
Job 41: 7, and a net, n»3Jq , 'W^Bi Job 19: 6. Is. 51: 20. 

§ 79. The Fallow Year. 

Agriculture on every seventh year came to an end. Nothing 
was sown and nothing reaped ; the vines and the olives were not 
pruned ; there was no vintage and no gathering of fruits, even of 
what' grew wild ; but whatever spontaneous productions there 
were, were left to the poor, the traveller, and the wild beast, 
Lev. 25: 1 — 7. Deut. 15: 1 — 10. The object of this regulation 
seems to have been, to secure the preservation of wild beasts, to 
let the ground recover its strength, and to teach the Hebrews to 
be provident of their income, and to look out for the future. It 
is true, that extraordinary fruitfulness was promised on the sixth 
year, but in such a way as not to exclude care and foresight, Lev. 
25: 20 — 24. We are not to suppose, however, that the Hebrews 
spent the seventh year in absolute idleness. They could fish, 
hunt, take care of their bees and flocks, repair their buildings and 
furniture, manufacture cloths of wool, linen, and of the hair of 
goats and camels, and carry on commerce. Finally, they were 
obliged to remain longer in the tabernacle or temple this year, 
during which the whole Mosaic law was read, in order to be instruct- 



ed in religious and moral duties and the history of their nation, 
and the wonderful works and blessings of God, Deut. 31: 10 — 13. 
This seventh year's rest, as Moses predicted, Lev. 26: 34, 35, was 
for a long time neglected, 2 Chron. 36: 21 ; after the captivity it 
was more scrupulously observed. 


^ 80. The origin of the Arts. 

They originated, no doubt, partly in necessity, partly in accident. 
At first they must have been very imperfect and very limited, but the 
inquisitive and active mind of man, seconded by his wants, soon se- 
cured to them a greater extent and fewer imperfections. Accord- 
ingly, in the fourth generation after the creation of man, we find 
mention made of artificers in brass and iron, and also of musical 
instruments, Gen. 4: 21 — 23. Those communities, which, from lo- 
cal or other causes, could not flourish by means of agriculture, of 
course directed their attention to and encouraged the arts. The 
arts, consequently, advanced with great rapidity, and were carri- 
ed to a high pitch as far back as the time of Noah ; as we may 
learn from the very large vessel, which was built under his direc- 

§ 81. State of the Arts from the Deluge till Moses. 

Noah together with his sons and servants, who were engaged 
with him in the construction of the ark, must, as above intimated, 
have been well acquainted, at least with certain of the mechanic 
arts. They had also without doubt seen the operations of artifi- 
cers in other ways besides that of building, and after the deluge 
imitated their works as well as they could. Hence not long after 



this period, viz. the deluge, we find mention of many things, such 
as edifices, utensils, and ornaments, which imply a knowledge of 
the arts, Gen. 9: 21. 11:1—9. 14:1—16. 12:7,8. 15:10. 17:10. 
18: 4,5, 6. 19: 32. 21: 14. 22: 10. 23: 13—16. 24: 22. 26: 12, 15, 
18. 27: 3, 4, 14. 31: 19, 27, 34. Traces and intimations of which 
occur continually, as the attentive reader will find, down to the 
time of Moses. 

§ 82. The Arts among the Hebrews in the time of Moses. 

Egypt in the early age of the world excelled all other nations 
in a knowledge of the arts. The Hebrews, in consequence of re- 
maining four hundred years with the Egyptians, must have become 
initiated to a considerable degree into that knowledge, which 
their masters possessed. Hence we find among them men, who 
were sufficiently skilful and informed to frame, erect, and orna- 
ment the tabernacle. Moses, it is true, did not enact any special 
laws in favor of the arts, nor did he interdict them or lessen 
them in the estimation of the people ; on the contrary he speaks 
in the praise of artificers, Exod. 35: 30 — 35. 36: 1. et seq. 38: 22, 
23, &LC. The grand object of Moses, I mean in a temporal point 
of view, was to promote agriculture, and he thought it best, as 
was done in other nations, to leave the arts to the ingenuity and 
industry of the people. 

§ 83. Arts among the Hebrews in Palestine. 

Soon after the death of Joshua, a place was expressly allotted 
by Joab of the tribe of Judah to artificers. It was called the val- 
ley of craftsmen, tPlinft fcTa 1 Chron. 4: 14. comp. Neh. 11: 35. 
About this time mention is made also of artificers in gold and sil- 
ver, Judg. 17: 3 — 5. The arts could not, however, be said to flour- 
ish much, although it was a fact that those utensils and instruments, 
which were absolutely necessary, were to be obtained from the shops 
of craftsmen, except when they were carried away captives in war, 
Judg. 3: 31. 5: 8. 1 Sam. 13: 19. Some of the less complicated and 
difficult instruments used in agriculture, each one made for him- 
self. The women spun, wove, and embroidered ; they made 
clothing not only for their families, but for sale, Exod. 35: 25. 


I Sam. 2: 19. Prov. 31: 18—31. Acts 9: 39. Employment, con- 
sequently, as far as the arts were concerned, was limited chiefly to 
those who engaged in the more difficult performances ; for in- 
stance those who built chariots, hewed stones, sculptured idols or 
cast them of metal, made instruments of gold, silver, and brass, 
and vessels of clay and the like, Judg. 17: 4. Is. 29: 16. 30: 14. 
Jer. 28: 13. Artificers among the Hebrews were not, as among 
the Greeks and Romans, servants and slaves, but men of some rank, 
and as luxury and wealth increased they became quite numerous, 
Jer. 24: 1. 29: 2. 2 Kgs. 24: 14. In the time of David and Solo- 
mon, there were Israelites, who understood the construction of 
temples and palaces, but they were inferiour to the Tyrians, and 
were willing to take lessons from them, 1 Chron. 14: 1. 22: 15. 
From the frequent mention made, in the history of the Hebrews, 
of numerous instruments, and of various operations in metals, we 
may infer as well as from other sources, that quite a number of the 
arts were understood among them. 

§ 84. State of the Arts after the Captivity. 

During the captivity many Hebrews, (most commonly those, to 
whom a barren tract of the soil had been assigned,) applied them- 
selves to the arts and merchandise. Subsequently, when they 
were scattered abroad among different nations, a knowledge of 
the arts became so popular, that the Talmudists taught, that all 
parents ought to learn their children some art or handicraft. They 
indeed mention many learned men of their nation, who practised 
some kind of manual labour, or as we should say, followed some 
trade. Accordingly, we find in the New Testament, that Joseph, 
the husband of Mary was a carpenter, and that he was assisted 
by no less a personage than our Saviour in his labours, Matt. 
13: 55. Mark 6: 3. Simon is mentioned as a tanner in the city of 
Joppa, Acts 9: 43. 10: 32. Alexander, a learned Jew, was a cop- 
persmith, 2 Tim. 4 : 14 ; Paul and Aquila were tent-makers, 
oxrjvonoloi,. Not only the Greeks, but the Jews also, esteemed 
certain trades infamous. At any rate the Rabbins reckoned the 
drivers of asses and camels, barbers, sailors, shepherds, and inn- 
keepers in the same class with robbers. Those Ephesians and 
Cretans, who were lovers of gain, ahxQOnsgdeig, 1 Tim. 3 : 8. 



Tit. h 7, were men, as we may learn from ancient writers, who 
were determined to get money in however base a manner. The 
more eminent Greek tradesmen were united together in the time 
of the Apostles in a society, Acts 19: 25. comp. Xenophon, Cyrop. 
viii. 2, 4. Of some of the arts we must say something separately. 

§ 65. Antiquity or the Art or Writing. 

Whether symbolic representations were first used, afterwards 
hieroglyphics, then alphabetic writing, is not very clear, nor is 
it a point necessary to be determined in this place. In regard to 
alphabetic writing all the ancient writers attribute the invention 
of it to some very early age, and some country of the East ; but 
they do not pretend to designate precisely either the age or the 
country. They say, further, that Cadmus introduced letters from 
Phenicia into Greece in the year, if we may credit the Parian 
chronicle, 1519 before Christ, i. e. forty-five years after the death of 

Anticlides, (see Pliny's Natural History, vii. 57.) asserts and at- 
tempts to prove, that letters were invented in Egypt fifteen years 
before Phoroneus, the most ancient king of Greece, i. e. four hun- 
dred and nine years after the deluge, and in the one hundred and 
seventeenth year of Abraham. On this I remark, that they might 
have been introduced into Egypt at this time ; but they had been 
previously invented by the Phenicians. Epigenes, who in the esti- 
mation of Pliny is weighty authority, informs us, that observations, 
made upon the heavenly bodies for seven hundred and twenty 
years at Babylon, were written down upon baked tiles, but Bero- 
sus and Critodemus, also referred to by Pliny, make the number 
of years four hundred and eighty. Pliny from these statements 
draws the conclusion, that the use of letters, as he expresses it, 
must have been eternal, i. e. extremely ancient. Simplicius, who 
lived in the fifth century, states on the authority of Porphyry, an 
acute historian, that Calisthtnes, the companion of Alexander, found 
at Babylon a record of observations on the heavenly bodies for 
one thousand nine hundred and three years. Of course the re- 
cord must have been begun in the year two thousand two hundred 
and thirty four before Christ, i. e. the eighty-ninth year of Abra- 
ham. This statement receives some confirmation from the fact, that 



the month of March is called "flTfct, Adar, in the Chaldaic dialect ; 
and at the time mentioned, viz. the eighty ninth year of Abraham, 
the sun, during the whole month of March, was in the sign of 
the zodiac, called Aries or the ram. The word, *\*y&, Adar, 
means the same with Aries. But, as letters were unquestionably 
invented for the purposes of commercial intercourse, they must 
have been known long before they were employed, to transmit 
the motions of the stars. Of this we have an evidence in the 
bill of sale, which as we have reason to suppose from the expres- 
sions used in Gen. 23: 20, was given to Abraham by the sons of 

Hence it is not at all wonderful, that books and writings are 
spoken of in the time of Moses, as if well known, Exod. 17: 14. 
24:4. 28:9—11. 32:32.34:27,28. Num. 33: 2. Deut. 27: 8. 
Nor is it a matter of surprise, that long before his time there 
had been public scribes, who kept written genealogies ; they 
were called by the Hebrews, E^ttitt) , Exod. 6: 14. Deut. 20: 5 — 9. 
Even in the time of Jacob, seals, upon which names are engraved 
in the East, were in use, see Gen. 38: 18. 41: 42 ; which is anoth- 
er probable testimony to the great antiquity of letters. 

Note I. Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus mention the exist- 
ence in antiquity of two kinds of writing, the one sacred, the oth- 
er profane. Clemens Alexandrinus and Porphyry mention three 
kinds, viz. the sacred, the profane, and the hieroglyphical. Some 
interpreters suppose, that the phrase l$J3# t3*}ft a man's pen, Is. 
8: 1. means the mode of writing which is denominated profane. 
Hieroglyphics were inscribed by the Egyptians, among whom they 
were used, upon stones. The phrase n'Sta a pictured or 

engraven stone, Lev. 26: 1. Num. 33: 52, means a stone, engraven 
with hieroglyphical figures, which, in that age of idolatry, was lia- 
ble to be worshipped. Those persons, who understood how to 
read hieroglyphics, tP72t?lh: magicians, were held in high estimation 
and much honoured among the Egyptians, Exod. 8: 3. Gen. 41: 8. 

Note II. Gesenius renders the word t^nttiti) overseers, rulers, 
or officers. In support of his rendering, he collates the Arabic 

'Jot 0>tcty 
word Jo-am* to preside, and Axim** an overseer. But the Ara- 



bic word 

5.u» / 3 

to write j and Jel^k^ 

a scribe, and the Syriac 

'f^M a icriting, are nearer as regards form to the Hebrew, than 
those which are collated by Gesenius. 


Letters, which had thus become known at the earliest period, 
were communicated by means of the Phenician merchants and 
colonies, and subsequently by Egyptian emigrants, through all the 
East and the West. A strong evidence of this is to be found in 
the different alphabets themselves, which betray by their resem- 
blance a common origin. The Hebrew Patriarchs received their 
alphabet from the Phenicians or, what is the same thing, from 
the Canaanites ; and that their posterity preserved a knowledge 
of alphabetical writing during their abode in Egypt, where essen- 
tially the same alphabet was in use, is evident from the fact, that 
the Hebrews while remaining there always had public genealogists, 
Deut. 24: 1 — 3. 17: 18, 19. The Law also was ordered to be in- 
scribed on stones ; a fact which implies a knowledge of alphabeti- 
cal writing. The writing thus engraven upon stones is designated 
by its appropriate name, viz. n^h, comp. Exod. 32: 16, 32. Not a 
few of the Hebrews were able to read and write, Judg. 8: 14 ; yet 
very many were very illiterate. Hence those, who were capable of 
writing, wrote for others, when necessary. Such persons were com- 
monly priests, who, as they do to this day in the East, bear an ink- 
horn in their girdle, Ezek. 9: 2, 3, 11. In the inkhorn were the 
materials for writing, and a knife for sharpening the pen, Jer. 36: 
23. The rich and noble had scribes of their own, and readers also ; 
whence there is more frequent mention made of hearing, than of 
reading, 1 K. 4: 3. 2 K. 12: 11. Is. 29: 18. Jer. 36: 4. Rom. 2: 13. 
James 5: 11. Rev. 1: 3. The scribes took youth under their care, 
who learnt from them the art of writing. Some of the scribes seem 
to have held public schools for instruction ; some of which under the 
care of Samuel and other prophets became in time quite illustrious, 
and were called the schools of the prophets, 1 Sam. 19: 16. et seq. 
2 K. 2: 3, 5. 4: 38. 6: 1. The disciples in these schools were not 
children or boys, but young men, who inhabited separate edifices, 
as is the case in the Persian academies. They were taught mu- 


sic and singing, without doubt writing also, the Mosaic law, and 
poetry. They were denominated in reference to their instructors 
the sons of the prophets, teachers and prophets being sometimes 
called fathers. After the captivity there were schools for instruc- 
tion either near the synagogues or in them, of which we shall speak 

§ 87. Materials and Instruments of Writing. 

I. Materials from the vegetable kingdom. 

1. The leaves of trees. 

2. The bark of trees, from which in the process of time a sort 
of paper was manufactured. 

3. A table of wood, hnb, nival, Is. 8: 1. Ezek. 37: 16. Luke 1: 
63. In the East, these tables were not covered with wax as they 
were in the West ; or at any rate very rarely so. 

4. Linen. Linen was used for the object in question at Rome. 
Linen books are mentioned by Livy. Cotton cloth also, which was 
used for the bandages of Egyptian mummies, and inscribed with 
hieroglyphics, was one of the materials for writing upon. 

5. The paper made from the reed papyrus, which, as Pliny has 
shown in his Natural History, XIII. 21 — 27, was used before the 
Trojan war. 

II. Materials from the animal kingdom. 

The shins of animals. They were but poorly prepared for the 
purpose, until some improved methods of preparation were invented 
at Pergamus, during the reign of Eumenes, about 200 years before 
Christ. Hence the skins of animals, prepared for writing, are call- 
ed in Latin pergamena, in English parchment to this day, from the 
city Pergamus. They are sometimes denominated in Greek, ^utyt- 
Pqum, 2 Tim. 4: 13. 

III. Materials from the mineral kingdom. 

1. Tables of lead, n^B>, Job 19: 24. 

2. Tables of brass, dtXtoi, ycdv,a7. Of all the materials, brass was 


considered among the most durable, and was employed for those in- 
scriptions, which were designed to last the longest, 1 Mac. 8: 22. 
14: 20—27. 

3. Stones or rocks, upon which public laws, &lc. were written. 
Sometimes the letters engraved were filled up with lime, Exod. 
24: 12. 31: 18. 32: 19. 34: 1. et seq. Deut. 27: 1—9. comp. Josh. 
8: 32. et seq. Job 19: 24. 

4. Tiles. The inscriptions were made upon the tiles first, and 
afterwards they were baked in the fire. They are yet to be 
found in the ruins of Babylon ; others of later origin are to be 
found in many countries in the East. 

5. The sand of the earth, in which the children in India to this 
day learn the art of writing, and in which Archimedes himself de- 
lineated his mathematical figures, comp. John 8: 1 — 8. If in 
Ezekiel 3: 1, and in Revelation 10: 9, we are informed that books 
were eaten, we must remember, that the descriptions are figurative, 
and that they were eaten in vision ; and consequently are not at 
liberty to draw the conclusion from these passages, that any sub- 
stance was used as materials for writing upon, which was at the 
same time used for food. The representations alluded to are sym- 
bolic, introduced to denote a communication or revelation from God. 

Instruments used in writing. 

The instrument, commonly used for this purpose, was the style, 
Heb. t3*lH . 1. When it was necessary to write upon hard 
materials, as tables of stone and brass, the style was made of iron, 
and sometimes tipped with diamond, Jer. 17: 1. 

2. The letters were formed upon tablets of wood, (when they 
were covered with wax,) with a style sharpened at one end, broad 
and smooth at the other ; by means of which, the letters, when 
badly written, might be rubbed out and the wax smoothed down. 
Wax, however, was but rarely used for the purpose of covering 
writing tables in such warm regions. When this was not the case, 
the letters were painted on the wood with a black tincture or ink. 

3. On linen, cotton cloth, paper, skins, and parchment, the let- 
ters were painted with a very small brush, Heb. perhaps tt'-ift , 
afterwards with a reed, which was split. The orientals use this 
elegant instrument to the present day instead of a pen. The knife, 
with which the reed was split, was called 'isn&rt "l^ft, Jer. 36: 23. 



Ink, called , is spoken of in Num. 5: 23. as well known 
and common, comp. Jer. 36: 18. and was prepared in various ways, 
which are related by Pliny, XVI. 6. XXX. 25. The most simple, 
and consequently the most ancient method of preparation, was a 
mixture of water with coals broken to pieces, or with soot, with 
an addition of gum. The ancients used other tinctures also ; partic- 
ularly, if we may credit Cicero de Nat. Deor. II. 20. and Persius III. 
11. the ink extracted from the cuttle fish, nb^ri, although their as- 
sertion is in opposition to Pliny. The Hebrews went so far as to 
write their sacred books in gold, as we may learn from Josephus, 
Antiq. XII. 2, 11. compared with Pliny XXXIII. 40. 

§ 88. Respecting Books, E^nDO *"|DD. 

Books, (which are mentioned as very well known as early as 
Job 19: 23. Num. 21: 14. Exod. 17: 14,) were written most an- 
ciently on skins, on linen, on cotton cloth, and the reed papyrus ; 
and subsequently on parchment. The leaves were written over 
in small columns, called ninW, Jer. 36: 23. If the book were 
large, it was of course formed of a number of skins, of a number 
of pieces of linen or cotton cloth, or of papyrus, or parchment, 
connected together. The leaves were rarely written over on 
both sides, Ezek. 2: 9. Zech. 5: 1. Whether the lines were writ- 
ten povGTQoqridov, as in the Sigean inscription, and in the Etruscan 
inscriptions, might yet be determined, if the stones mentioned Josh. 
8: 32. could be found. The question, whether there was any 
space between the words, has been discussed in my Introduction to 
the Old Testament, T. V. p. 1. § 98. 

Books being written upon very flexible materials, were rolled 
round a stick ; and, if they were very long, round two, from the 
two extremities. The reader unrolled the book to the place 
which he wanted, avumv^ctg to (ji(3Xiop, and rolled it up again 
when he had read it, mv£ag to (5l§Mov, Luke 4: 17 — 20 ; whence 
the name rfrafc a volume, or thing rolled up, Ps. 40: 7. Is. 34: 4. 
Ezek. 2: 9.' 2 K. 19: 14. Ezra 6: 2. The leaves thus rolled 
round the stick, which has been mentioned, and bound with a 
string, could be easily sealed, Is. 29: 11. Dan. 12: 4. Rev. 5: I/ 6: 
7. Those books, which were inscribed on tablets of wood, lead, 

96 § 90. ON POETRY. 

brass, or ivory, were connected together by rings at the back, 
through which a rod was passed to carry them by. 

Note. The orientals appear to take a pleasure in giving trop- 
ical or enigmatical titles to their books. The titles prefixed to 
the fifty-sixth, sixtieth, and eightieth psalms, appear to be of this 
description. And there can be no doubt, that David's elegy upon 
Saul and Jonathan, 1 Sam. 1: 18. is called n$D or the bow, in con- 
formity with this peculiarity of taste. 

§ 89. Concerning Epistles. 

Epistles, which occur under the same Hebrew word with 
books, viz. ^DD , are mentioned the more rarely, the further you 
go back into antiquity. An epistle is first mentioned 2 Sam. 11: 14. 
et seq. Afterwards there is more frequent mention of them, and 
sometimes an epistle is meant, when literally a messenger is spok- 
en of, as in Ezra 4: 15 — 17. In the East letters are commonly 
sent unsealed. In case, however, they are sent to persons of dis- 
tinction, they are placed in a valuable purse, which is tied, closed 
over with clay or wax, and then stamped with a signet, see Is. 29: 
11. Neh. 6: 5. Job 38: 14. The most ancient epistles begin and 
end without either salutation or farewell, but under the Persian 
monarchy the salutation was very prolix. It is given in an abridg- 
ed form in Ezra 4: 7 — 10. 5: 7. The apostles in their epistles 
used the salutation customary among the Greeks, but they omit- 
ted the usual farewell at the close, viz. yctiQtiv, and adopted a 
benediction more conformable to the spirit of the Christian relig- 
ion. Paul, when he dictated his letters, wrote the benediction at 
the close with his own hand, 2 Thess. 3: 17. He was more accus- 
tomed to dictate his letters than to write them himself. 

§ 90. On Poetry. 

Poetry had its origin in the first ages of the world, when un- 
disciplined feelings and a lively imagination naturally supplied 
strong expressions, gave an expressive modulation to the voice, 
and motion to the limbs ; hence poetry, music and dancing were 
contemporaneous in origin. As far back as the time of Moses, po- 


etry, not only among the Hebrews, but also among some other na- 
tions, had reached a great degree of perfection, Exod. xv. Deut. 
xxxii. Num.21: 24, et seq. comp. also the book of Job. It after- 
wards flourished with great honour among the Hebrews for almost 
1000 years. The design of it was not merely to excite pleas- 
ure, but also to preserve historical narrations, and that in such a 
way, that they might be sung on special occasions; but it was more 
particularly the object of this art, to declare in the most affecting 
manner the praises of the Deity, and to excite the people to good 
and to praiseworthy works ; see the books of Psalms, Job, Proverbs, 
and Ecclesiastes ; comp. also Gen. 3: 24. 4: 23. 9: 25— 29. 

§ 91. Character of the Hebrew Poetry. 

Hebrew poetry, like the genuine poetry of all other nations, 
is characterised by ardent feelings, splendid thoughts, a great va- 
riety of beautiful images, strength of expression, condensation, and 
elegance. But it is distinguished in a number of particulars from 
the poetry of occidental nations. 

I. The metaphors, comparisons, &c. are more bold and unusu- 
al ; a point, which is capable of receiving much light from a colla- 
tion of Arabic poems. 

II. The ornaments, by which a subject is enriched in Hebrew 
poetry, are derived from the state of things, as they exist in the 
East, especially Palestine ; 

(1.) from the natural objects of that region, from Lebanon and 
its cedars, from Carmel, from the oaks of Bashan, from the gar- 
dens, the vineyards, and the forests, which enrich the larjd, and 
from the animals, viz. the oxen, the lions, and the gazelles, &c. 
that tread upon its surface ; 

(2.) from the occupations of husbandmen and shepherds ; 

(3.) from the history of the nation ; 

(4.) from the manners exhibited in common life, even from its 
vices, as drunkenness, fornication, and adultery ; 

(5.) from oriental mythology, which, in a great degree, though 
not in all respects, corresponds with the Greek and Roman. We 
find, for instance, mention made of the chamber of the sun, Ps. 19: 
5, 6. but then there is this difference ; the orientals do not con- 
vey him on a chariot, like the Greeks and Romans, but make 


him fly with wings, Ps. 139: 9. Mai. 4: 2. The thunders are 
borne on chariots, but these chariots are not drawn by horses, but 
by cherubim, tPS*H3 , monsters that are symbolic of the clouds, 
Ezek. Is 2— 28. Ps.'lS: 10. 99: 1. We find mention made of a 
golden age, Is. 2: 4. 11: 6—9. 24: 23. 30:24—28. 60: 19,20. 65: 
4 — 25. 66: 1 — 5 ; of the infernal regions also, slieol or hades, 
blflWZJ , ccdijg, into which descend not only soldiers, warlike heroes 
and emperors, even all who die, but also by a figure of speech, 
conquered nations and states, and even trees, the symbols of states. 
The warriors repose in this wide abode on couches, with their ar- 
mour placed beneath their head, Is. 14: 9—20. Ezek. 26: 20. 31: 
14—18. 32: 7, 8. 17: 30. Matt. 16: 18. We find mention likewise 
of the rivers of hades, Ps. 18: 4 — 6. 2 Sam. 22: 5 ; and of a politi- 
cal heaven, which can be shaken, and the moon and the stars there- 
of be obscured or cast down with great confusion and overthrow, 
Hag. 2: 6, 21. Is. 24: 21—23. 34: 4. 65: 17. Amos 8: 9, 10. 
Matt. 24: 29. 

III. The poems in the Hebrew language may have been meas- 
ured by means of a certain number of syllables or words, but we 
have reason to believe, that the rhythm consisted essentially and 
chiefly in the parallelism. The parallelism, which is sometimes 
synonymous and sometimes antithetical, and sometimes shows it- 
self merely in the construction, independent of the sense, consists 
in many cases of only two members, see Ps. 114: 1 — 8; in other 
instances there are three members, see Hos. 6: 1,2; in other 
instances again there are four members, the first answering to the 
third, and the second to the fourth, see Deut. 32: 42. Sometimes 
the parallelism displays itself in five verses or members, the two 
first and the two last being parallel, and the middle one unequal, 
Is. 31: 4. or the first being parallel to the third, and the second 
to the fourth, and the fifth being unequal, see Ps. 19: 8 — 10. In 
some instances the poetry may be called irregular, i. e. incapable 
of being reduced to the more common forms .of parallelism, Ps. 
113: 5, 6. Micah I: 4. These traits in the Hebrew poetry, when 
well understood, afford very considerable aid in the interpretation 
and criticism of the Bible, as for instance in such passages as Ps. 
77: 18, 19. 139: 20. Is. 47: 11. 49: 6, 16. One may find, in the 
parallelisms in various places, a similarity in the cadences, which 
gives to them a more than ordinary musical effect, and seems to 



be the result of art, see Judg. 14: 18. Prov. 7: 13—15. 29: 17. Is. 
26: 20, 21. 40: 24. 49: 8. 51: 1, 2—5, 8, 53: 6, 7. Zech. 11: 1. 

§ 92. On Music. 

Music is coeval with poetry. Musical instruments were 
the invention of Jubal, Gen. 4: 21. and, as early as Gen. 31: 
27, we are introduced to a whole choir. Afterwards music and 
poetry went hand in hand, and with equal step. The poet him- 
self sung his own poems and accompanied his voice with instru- 
ments. Both music and poetry were esteemed of great conse- 
quence, and without doubt as long as poetry was cultivated, mu- 
sic was none the less so. The music of the Hebrews may be 
thought to have been too loud and noisy, but a person's opinion on 
a point of that kind will depend very much on his own personal 
habits and experience. 

§ 93. Uses op Music among the Hebrews. 

The Hebrews insisted on having music at marriages, on anni- 
versary birthdays, on the days which reminded them of victories 
over their enemies, at the inauguration of their kings, in their 
public worship, and when they were coming from afar to attend 
the great festivals of their nation, Is. 30: 29. In the tabernacle 
and the temple, the Levites were the lawful musicians, but on oth- 
er occasions any one who chose might use musical instruments. 
There was however, this exception ; the holy silver trumpets 
were to be blown only by the priests, who, by the sounding of 
them, proclaimed the festival days, assembled the leaders of the 
people, and gave the signal for battle, and for the retreat, Num. 1: 1 
— 10. David, in order to give the best effect to the music of the 
tabernacle, divided the four thousand Levites into twenty four 
classes, who sung psalms, and accompanied them with music. 
Each of these classes was superintended by a leader, hS3J3 , plac- 
ed over it ; and they performed the duties, which devolved upon 
them, each class a week at a time in succession, 1 Chron. 16: 5. 23: 
4,5. 25: 1—31. comp. 2 Chron. 5: 12, 13. The classes collec- 
tively, as a united body, were superintended by three directors. 
This arrangement was subsequently continued by Solomon after 



the erection of the temple, and was transmitted till the time of 
the overthrow of Jerusalem. It was indeed sometimes interrupted 
during the reign of the idolatrous kings, but was restored by their 
successors, 2 Chron. 5: 12 — 14. 29: 27. 35: 15. It was even con- 
tinued after the captivity, Ezra 3: 10. Neh. 12: 45 — 47. 1 Mac. 4: 
54. 13: 51. It should be remarked, however, that neither mu- 
sic nor poetry attained to the same excellence after the captivity, 
as before that period. 

§ 94. Stringed Lvstruments. 

I. The harp, "ii33 . This was the most ancient of this class of 
instruments, Gen. 4: 21. It was sometimes called sheminith, rWEU*, 
or eight-stringed. Ps. 6: 1. 12: 1. 1 Chron. 15: 21. although as we 
may gather from the coins or medals of the Maccabean age, there 
were some harps, which were furnished with only three strings. 
The harp, therefore, was of two kinds, one only of which is distin- 
guished by a separate name, viz. that called sheminith, unless per- 
chance separate names should be found for both in the Greek, 
the three-stringed harp being called xi&cigcc, the other mvvqcc, 
for these two words appear to be used with some distinction of 
this kind in 1 Mac. 4: 54. Josephus in his Jewish Antiquities, VII. 
10. 3. assigns ten strings to the harp, an evidence that in his time 
the number of them had been increased. The strings of this in- 
strument, it is lawful to suppose, were originally swept by the 
hand, but in Josephus' time, it was played with a small bow or 
fret; which act is denominated in Hebrew by the words toSF), |53, 

, HEn , and even ^nl . This instrument, viz. the ancient 
harp, seems to have been called by the Babylonians ^FCCS» and 
^tp:DS Dan. 3: 5, 7, 10, 15. 

II. The nablum or psaltery, ^55 1, vafila, vuvXcc. It is first 
mentioned in the psalms of David. In Psalms 33: 2. and 144: 9. 
it is called ^iiDS a ten-stringed instrument; but in Ps. 92: 3. 
it is distinguished from it. Josephus, Antiq. VII. 10. 3. assigns 
to it twelve strings ; which, taken in connexion with the fact above 
stated, leaves us to conclude, that it sometimes had ten and some- 
times twelve strings. It was not played with a bow or fret, but 
with the fingers ; the act of playing it is expressed in Hebrew by 
the word ^73 1. It resembled in form a right angled triangle or the 



Greek Delta inverted y. The body of it was of wood and hollow, 
and was enclosed with a piece of leather tensely drawn. The 
chords were extended on the outside of the leather, and were fixed 
at one end into the transverse part of the triangular body of the in- 
strument. Such is its form at the present day in the East, but it 
has only five strings in its modern shape, 2 Sam. 6: 5. 1 K. 10: 12. 
There was another instrument of this kind used in Babylonia ; it 
was triangular in form, in Greek it is called oufApvitri, in Hebrew, 
fi03D and [t*!33to| ; it had originally only four, but subsequently 
twenty strings, Dan. 3: 5, 7, 10, 15. 

The chords of stringed instruments are denominated t^SE , Ps. 
150: 4. At first they were the usual sort of strings twisted from 
flax or some like substance, but subsequently were manufactured 
from the entrails of sheep. Chords of the last kind are mentioned 
by Homer, as a recent invention. 

§ 95. Wind Instruments. 

I. The organ, (as it is called in the English version,) Heb. nay , 
uggab, Gen. 4: 21. It may be called the ancient shepherd's pipe, 
corresponding most nearly to the Gvgty'^ or the pipe of Pan among 
the Greeks. It consisted at first of only one or two, but after- 
wards of about seven pipes made of reeds and differing from each 
other in length. The instrument, called mashroJcitha, ttn^p/nM, 
used in Babylon, Dan. 3: 5. was of a similar construction. 

II. M>h halil, rhb' 1 *"]'? nehiloth, and ap3 nekeb, are wind instru- 
ments resembling the one just described, made of various materi- 
als, such as wood, reeds, horns, and bones. As far as we may 
be permitted to judge from the three kinds of pipes now used in 
the East, the Hebrew instrument called nehiloth is the one that is 
double in its structure, halil is perhaps the one of simpler form, 
having a single stem with an orifice through it, while ncJceb answers 
to the one without an orifice, Is. 5: 12. 30: 29. Jer. 4S: 36. Ps. 
5: 1. Ezek. 28: 13. 

III. ppjtejgq D,or according to the marginal reading arab^q , Dan. 
3: 5, 10, was a wind instrument made of reeds, by the Syrians call- 
ed sambonja, by the Greeks samponja, and by the Italians zampog- 
na. According to Servius, it was of a crooked shape. 

IV. The horn or crooked trumpet, "p j3 . This was a very an- 


cient instrument. It was made of the horns of oxen, which were 
cut off at the smaller extremity, and thus presented an orrfice, 
which extended through. In progress of time rams' horns were 
hollowed and employed for the same purpose. This instrument 
was called also "iBilB shophar. as we may learn both from Josephus 
and Jerome. It is probable, that in some instances, it was made of 
brass fashioned so as to resemble a horn. It was greatly used in 
war, and its sound resembled thunder. 

V. The straight trumpet, STlS^H • This instrument was 
straight, a cubit in length, hollow throughout, and at the larger ex- 
tremity shaped so as to resemble the mouth of a small bell. In times 
of peace, when the people or the rulers were to be assembled to- 
gether, this trumpet was blown softly, which was expressed by the 
Hebrew word ypn . When the camps were to move forward or the 
people to march to war, it was sounded with a deeper note ; this 
was expressed by the Hebrew verb ^'liTJ, and by the phrase $pj?\ 

§ 96. Different sorts of Drums. 

I. t^Sfi, P]n, rendered in the English version, tabret and tim- 
brel, Gen. 31: 27. It consisted of a circular hoop either of wood 
or brass, three inches and six tenths wide, was covered with a 
skin tensely drawn, and hung round with small bells. It was held 
in the left hand, and beaten to notes of music with the right. 
The ladies through all the East, even to this day, dance to the 
sound of this instrument, Exod. 15: 20. Job 17: 6. 21: 12. 2 Sam. 
6: 5. 

II. The cymbal, B^SfcbS, nV?i2ft . There were two kinds of 
cymbals formerly, as there are to this day, in the East. The cym- 
bal, called JWin ^b'Zb'S.', consisted of two flat pieces of metal or 
plates ; the musician held one of them in his right hand, the oth- 
er in his left, and smote them together, as an accompaniment to 
other instruments. This cymbal and the mode of using it may be 
often seen in modern armies and military trainings. The second 
kind of cymbals, 5J5T,z5 ^Sbss, Ps. 150: 5. consisted of four small 
plates attached, two to each hand, which the ladies, as they danc- 
ed, smote together. But rh^SS , Zech. 14: 20. [Eng. vers, bells,] 
are not musical instruments, as some suppose, nor indeed bells, 



but concave pieces or plates of brass, which were sometimes at- 
tached to horses for the sake of ornament. 

III. B*23?573 , menaaneim, 2 Sam. 6: 5 ; the word is derived 
from 5713 , to move or to be shaken. We may suppose, therefore, 
it was an instrument corresponding to the si strum, by which word 
Jerome in his Latin version has rendered it. If this were the 
case, we may suppose also, that like the sistrum, (in Greek ctloxgov, 
from oel(x) to shake,) it was a rod of iron bent into an oblong shape, 
or square at two corners and curved at the others, and furnished 
with a number of moveable rings, so that when shaken or struck 
with another rod of iron, it emitted the sound desired. The in- 
strument used by the women, which occurs under the word t3 v «2fcU3 , 
1 Sam. 18: 6, probably differed from the more common sistrum only 
by being of a triangular form. 

Note. — The names of musical instruments which are very lit- 
tle known, are as follows. 

I. "p^lt, higgaion, Ps. 9: 16. 92:4; perhaps this word was 
used to designate some sort of song or poem. 

II. rPna , gittith, Ps. 8: 1. 81: 1. 84: 1. derived from , a wine 
press ; an instrument, which was played at the treading out of 
the grapes. Some suppose, it derived its name from Gath, a city 
of the Philistines. 

III. fsb nifrb? , almnth labben, Ps. 9: 1 ; a better reading of the 
Hebrew would be "jib rrtttb^ , for Ben was the name of a musician 
in the time of David, 1 Chron. 15: 18.' What the meaning of the 
word mfcVg , is, is not very clear ; perhaps it was a kind of harp, 
and hence, 1 Chron. 15: 20. is interchanged with iWJQitf, a harp 
of eight strings. 

IV. 'pmT? ,jeduthun, Ps. 39: 1. 67: 1, an instrument thus de- 
nominated from some musician of that name. 

V. Fibnfa mahalath, Ps. 88: 1. 53: 1, perhaps an instrument like 
the shepherd's pipe ; comp. the Ethiopic word mahlet, which in 
Gen. 4: 21. answers to the Greek xidaQa. Some other words 
and phrases, such as shushan-eduth, Ps. 60: 1. appear to be enig- 
matical inscriptions of the psalms, to which they are prefixed. 

104 § 97. ON DANCING. 

§ 97. On Dancing. 

The Mohammedans esteem dancing a sport unworthy the dignity 
of a man, and accordingly leave it to the women. It is practised 
in such an indecorous manner among the modern orientals, that 
they would be still nearer the truth, if they should pronounce it 
an art unworthy to be indulged in by either sex. It was different 
anciently. Among the Greeks it was a sort of pantomime, a mimic 
representation of the common actions of life, and, in some instan- 
ces, of deeds of war. It was accordingly admitted among the 
gymnastic sports. The dancers danced to the notes of the tim- 
brel ; they exhibited many inflections of the body and many ges- 
ticulations with the hands ; they danced, beating the floor in a cir- 
cle, following the one they had chosen for a leader, with regular 
and artificial pulsations of the feet, Exod. 15: 20. Judg. 11: 34. 
1 Sam. 18: 6 — 7. Jer. 31: 4, 13. Sometimes men who were singers 
or musicians, took a part in these dances ; in this case the singers 
went forward, those who played on instruments followed, and the 
dancing women girded them on both sides, Ps. 68: 26. The dance 
was called in Hebrew biflft; it was practised on the national fes- 
tivals, and made part of the sacred worship. The nobles and the 
princes of the people engaged in this ceremony, but did not min- 
gle in it with the common multitude. This was the ground of the 
reproach, which Michal threw out against David, who danced be- 
fore the ark in company with the rest of the people, 2 Sam. 6: 16 
— 23. In the later periods of the Jewish history, the kings and 
great men appear to have been rather the spectators, than the par- 
ties in dances, see Matt. 6: 21 — 25. 

Note. — The art of oratory never flourished in the East. Paul, 
accordingly, when he appeared among the Greeks who estimated 
eloquence very highly, although it was at that time degenerate and 
declining, was not listened to with that interest, with which he 
might otherwise have been. Paul, however, displays, in his speech- 
es recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, a good arrangement and 
no little skill in the art of persuasion. 




§ 98. The Origin of the Sciences. 

When the arts had been reduced by long practice and medita- 
tion to fixed and definite rules, they were succeeded by the sci- 
ences ; which in fact are nothing more than the reduction, into a 
more regular and philosophic form, of those rules and theories, 
which have been ascertained and approved by inquiry and prac- 
tice. We are able to discover the beginnings, the indistinct ves- 
tiges of the sciences in very remote periods ; and in some nations 
more strikingly than in others. The Egyptians and Babylonians 
excelled . in scientific knowledge all others. The Arabians also 
are favourably mentioned in this respect, 1 K. 4: 30 ; also the 
Edomites, Jer. 49: 7. The Hebrews became renowned for their 
intellectual culture in the time of David, and especially of Solo- 
mon, who is said to have surpassed all others in wisdom ; a cir- 
cumstance, which was the ground of the many visits, which were 
paid to him by distinguished foreigners, 1 K. 5: 9—14. His ex- 
ample, which was truly an illustrious one, was beyond question 
imitated by other kings. The literature of the Hebrews was lim- 
ited chiefly to ethics, religion, the history of their nation, and nat- 
ural history ; on which last subject, Solomon wrote many treatises 
no longer extant. The Hebrews made but little progress in sci- 
ence and literature after the time of Solomon. During their cap- 
tivity, it is true, they acquired many foreign notions, with which 
they had not been previously acquainted ; and they subsequent- 
ly borrowed much, both of truth and of falsehood, from the phi- 
losophy of the Greeks. The author of the book of Wisdom, with 
some others of the Jewish writers, has made pretty good use of 
the Greek philosophy. It is clear, notwithstanding this, that the 
Jews after the captivity fell below their ancestors in respect to 
history ; as the published annals of that period are not of a kin- 
dred character, with those of the primitive ages of their country. 


§ 99. History, Genealogy, and Chronology. 

That the art of historical writing was anciently much cultivated 
in the East, the Bible itself is an ample testimony ; for it not only 
relates the prominent events, from the creation down to the fifth 
century before Christ, but speaks of many historical books, which 
have now perished ; and also of many monuments, erected in com- 
memoration of remarkable achievements and furnished with ap- 
propriate inscriptions. These monuments are denominated by va- 
rious names, as !r?2i£73 , *P , "p~*2T • The Babylonians also, the As- 
syrians, the Persians, and Tyrians, had their Historical Annals. 
Among the Egyptians, there was a separate order, viz. the Priests, 
one part of whose duty it was, to write the history of their coun- 
try. In the primitive ages the task of composing annals fell in 
most nations upon the priests, but at a later period the king had 
his own secretaries, whose special business it was to record the 
royal sayings and achievements. The prophets among the He- 
brews recorded the events of their own times, and, in the earliest 
periods, the genealogists interwove many historical events with 
their accounts of the succession of families. Indeed, it should not 
be forgotten, that ancient history generally partakes more of a 
genealogical, than of a chronological character. Hence the Hebrew 
phrase for genealogies, nilbin *VSI9 , is used also for history, Gen. 
6: 9. 10: 1 ; and hence no epoch, more ancient than that of Na- 
bonassar, is any where found. In the Bible, however, this defect, 
in regard to a regular chronological system, is in a manner com- 
pensated by the insertion in various places of definite periods of 
time, and by chronological genealogies. In giving a concise ac- 
count of the genealogy of a person, the Hebrews, as well as the 
Arabs, took the liberty to omit, according to their own pleasure, 
one or more generations, Ruth 4: 18, 22. Ezra 7: 1 — 5. Matt, h 8. 
It was considered so much of an honor, to have a name and a place 
in these family annals, that the Hebrews, from their first exis- 
tence as a nation, had public genealogists, denominated ^Eftc , 

Not only the Hebrews, but, if we may credit Herodotus and 
Diodorus Siculus, the Egyptians also, assigned a certain period to 
a generation. According to their estimation, three generations 


made a hundred years. In the time of Abraham, however, when 
men lived to a greater age, a hundred years made a generation. 
This is clear from Gen. 15: 13, 16. and from the circumstance, that 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dwelt two hundred and fifteen years in 
the land of Canaan, and yet there were only two generations. 

§ 100. Arithmetic, Mathematics, Astronomy, and Astrology. 

I. Arithmetic. The more simple methods of arithmetical cal- 
culation are spoken of in the Pentateuch, as if they were well 
known. The merchants of that early period must, for their own 
convenience, have been possessed of some method of operating 
by numbers. Arid that they were able to do it, to some consider- 
able extent, may be argued from the fact, that they had separate 
words, viz. to-j , r"DS""> , for so large a number as 10,000, Gen. 24: 
60. Lev. 26: 8. Deut. 32: 30. 

II. Mathematics. By this we understand geometry, mensura- 
tion, navigation, &,c. As far as a knowledge of them was abso- 
lutely required by the condition and employments of the people, 
we may well suppose that knowledge to have actually existed ; 
although no express mention is made of them. 

III. Astronomy. The interests of agriculture and navigation re- 
quired some knowledge of astronomy. An evidence, that an at- 
tempt was made at a very early period, to regulate the year by 
the annual revolution of the sun, may be found in the fact, that 
the Jewish months were divided into thirty days each, see Gen. 
7: 11. S: 4. In astronomy, the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Phe- 
nicians exhibited great superiority. We are informed, there were 
magicians or enchanters in Egypt, Exod. 7: 11. Lev. 20: 27. 19: 31. 
Deut. 18: 10. denominated in Hebrew fi^BiSStt , because they com- 
puted eclipses of the sun and moon, and pretended to the people, 
that they produced them by the efficacy of their own enchant- 
ments. Some of the constellations are mentioned by name, Job 
9: 9. 38: 31, 32. Is. 13: 10. Amos 5: 8. 2 K. 23: 5. 

IV. Astrology. It is by no means a matter of wonder, that the 
Hebrews did not devote greater attention to astronomy, since the 
study of astrology, which was intimately connected with that of as- 
tronomy, and was very highly estimated among the neighbouring 
nations, Is. 47: 9. Jer. 27: 9. 50: 35. Dan. 2: 13, 48. was interdict- 
ed to the Hebrews, Deut. 18: 10. Lev. 20: 27. Daniel, indeed, 


studied the art of astrology at Babylon, but he did not practise it, 
Dan. 1: 20. 2: 2. The astrologers, (and those wise men mention- 
ed in Matt. 2: 1, et seq. appear to have been such,) divided the 
heavens into apartments or habitations, to each one of which 
apartments, they assigned a ruler or president. This fact devel- 
opes the origin of the word, Etil£t6ov\, b^a, or the lord of 
the (celestial) dwelling, Matt. 10: 25. 12:24,27. Mark 3: 22. Luke 
11: 15—19. 

§ 101. Division of the Day and Night. 

The Hebrews, in conformity with the Mosaic law, reckoned 
the day from evening to evening. The natural day, i. e. the por- 
tion of time from sunrise to sunset, was divided by the Hebrews, 
as it is now by the Arabians, into six unequal parts. 

These divisions were as follows : 

I. 'IfcVti, also P)^3, the break of day. The portion of time was 
at a recent period divided into two parts, in imitation of the Per- 
sians ; the first of which began, when the eastern, the second, 
when the western division of the horizon was illuminated. The 
authors of the Jerusalem Talmud divided it into four parts, the 
first of which was called in Hebrew 1h|ll r}feK, which occurs in 
Ps. 22: 1. and corresponds to the phrase Muv tiqmi in the New 
Testament, Mark 16: 2. John 20: 1. 

II. Ip.'z, the morning or sunrise. 

III. E'rn ch, the heat of the day. It begins about nine o'clock, 
Gen. 18: 1. 1 Sam. 11: 11. 

IV. , midday. 

V. t3T?n rpn, the cool of the day, literally the wind of the day. 
This expression is grounded in the fact, that a wind commences 
blowing regularly for a few hours before sunset, and continues till 
evening, Gen. 3: 8. 

VI. the evening. It was divided into two parts, fi^S'iy ; 
the first of which began according to the Karaites and Samaritans 
at sunset, the second, when it began to grow dark. But accord- 
ing to the Rabbins, the first commenced just before sunset, the 
second precisely at sunset. The Arabians agree with the Karaites 
and Samaritans ; and in this way the Hebrews appear to have com- 
puted previous to the captivity. 


Hours, rt^tt) . The mention of them occurs first in Dan. 3: 6, 
15. 5: 5. Hours were first measured by gnomons, which merely 
indicated the meridian ; afterwards, by the hour-watch, GKia&rjgov ; 
and subsequently still, by the clepsydra, or instrument for measur- 
ing time by means of water. The hour watch or dial, otherwise 
called the sun-dial, is mentioned in the reign of king Hezekiah, 
2 Kgs. 20: 9, 10. Is. 38: 8. Its being called " the sun-dial of Ahaz," 
renders it probable, that Ahaz first introduced it from Babylon, 
whence also Anaximenes the Milesian brought the first skiatheron 
into Greece. This instrument was of no use during the night, 
nor indeed, during a cloudy day. In consequence of this defect, 
the clepsydra was invented, which was used in Persia, as late as 
the 17th century, in its simplest form. 

The clepsydra was a small circular vessel, constructed of thin- 
ly beaten copper or brass, and having a small perforation through 
the bottom. It was placed in another vessel filled with water. 
The diameter of the hole, in the bottom of the clepsydra, was 
such, that it filled with water in three hours, and sunk. It was 
necessary, that there should be a servant to tend it ; who should 
take it up, when it had sunk, pour out the water, and place it again 
empty, on the surface of the water in the vase. 

The hours of principal note, in the course of the day, were 
the third, the sixth, and the ninth. These hours, it would seem, 
were consecrated by Daniel to prayer, Dan. 6: 10. comp. Acts 2: 
15. 3: 1. 10: 9. The day was divided into twelve hours, which of 
course varied in length, being shorter in the winter and longer in 
the summer, John 11:9. In tjie winter, therefore, the clepsydras 
were covered internally with wax, that the water might subside 
from them more rapidly. The hours were numbered from the 
rising of the sun, so that at the season of the equinox, the third 
corresponded to the ninth of our reckoning, the sixth to our 
twelfth, and the ninth to 3 o'clock in the afternoon. At other 
seasons of the year, it is necessary to observe the time, when the 
sun rises, and reduce the hours to our time accordingly. We ob- 
serve, therefore, that the sun in Palestine, at the summer solstice, 
rises at five of our time, and sets about seven. At the winter sols- 
tice, it rises about seven and sets about five. 

Before the captivity, the night was divided into three watches. 
The first, which continued till midnight, was denominated viao 


§ 102. OF WEEKS. 

rnn^dN the commencing or first watch, Lam. 2: 19. The second 
was denominated rtjteTOq rnS'-pN the middle Watch, and continu- 
ed from midnight, till the crowing of the cock, Judg. 7: 19. The 
third, called np.zrj rnb'litf the morning watch, extended from the 
second to the rising of the sun. These divisions and' names ap- 
pear to have owed their origin to the watches of the Levites in the 
tabernacle and temple, Exod. 14: 24. 1 Sam. 11: 11. In the time 
of Christ however, the night, in imitation of the Romans, was di- 
vided into four watches. According to the English mode of reck- 
oning they were as follows. 

I. Oqi, the evening, from twilight to nine o'clock. 

II. Mioovuxuov, the midnight, from nine to twelve. 

III. ' A).txvo(jo(f.o)vtu, the cock-croicing, from twelve to three. 

IV. Hyoit , from three o'clock till day-break. 

The asssertions of the Talmudists in opposition to this statement 
are not to be regarded. 

§ 102. Op Weeks. 

A period of seven days, under the usual name of a week, Miflj , 
is mentioned as far back as the time of the deluge, Gen. 7: 4, 10. 
8: 10, 12. also Gen. 29: 27, 28. It must therefore, be considered 
a very ancient division of time, especially, as the various nations, 
among whom it has been noticed, for instance the Nigri in Africa, 
(see Oldendorp's Gesch. der Mission, I. 308.) appear to have re- 
ceived it from the sons of Noah. The enumeration of the days 
of the week commenced at Sunday. Saturday was the last or 
seventh, and was the Hebrew sabbath, or day of rest. The Egyp- 
tians gave to the days of the week the same names, that they 
assigned to the planets. From the circumstance, that the sabbath 
was the principal day of the week, the whole period of seven 
days was likewise called n3*3 , Syriac \&£±m , in 1 he New Testa- 
ment, oapfiaiov and odfiftaict. The Jews accordingly, in desig- 
nating the successive days of the week, were accustomed to say, 
the first day of the sabbath, i. e. of the week, the second day of the 
sabbath, viz. Sunday, Monday, &c. Mark 16: 2, 9. Luke 24: 1. 
John 20: 1, 19. In addition to the week of days, the Jews had 
three other seasons, denominated weeks, Lev. 25: 1 — 17. Deut. 
16: 9, 10. 



I. The week of weeks. It was a period of seven weeks or forty 
nine days, which was succeeded on the fiftieth day by the feast of 
pentecost, Greek Ttevitjxoozt] ,ffiy, Deut. 16; 9, 10. 

II. The week of years. This was a period of seven years, dur- 
ing the last of which, the (and remained unfilled, and the people 
enjoyed a sabbath or season of rest. 

III. The week of seven sabbatical years. It was a period of 
forty-nine years, and was succeeded by the year of jubilee, Lev. 25: 
1—22. 26: 34. 

§ 103. Of the Months and the Year. 

. The lunar changes without doubt were first employed in the 
measurement of time. Weeks, however, were not, as some sup- 
pose, suggested by these changes, since four weeks make only 
twenty-eight days, while the lunar period is twenty-nine and a 
half. Nor is it rational to suppose, that the changes of the moon 
first suggested the method of computation by years. Years were 
regulated at first by the return of summer or autumn. But when 
in the progress of time it was discovered, that the ripe fruits, by 
which the year had been previously limited, statedly returned af- 
ter about twelve lunar months, or three hundred and fifty-four 
days, the year was regulated by those months, and restricted to 
that number of days. In the course of seventeen years, however, 
it was seen, that, on the return of the same month, all the appear- 
ances of nature were reversed. Hence, as is evident from the 
history of the deluge, an attempt was made to regulate the months 
by the motion of the sun, and to assign to each of them thirty days ; 
but it was, nevertheless, observed, after ten or twenty years, that 
there was still a defect of five days. 

Moses did not make any new arrangement in regard to the lu- 
nar months of the Hebrews, nor the year, which was solar, but in 
order to secure a proper reduction of the lunar to the solar year, 
he obligated the priests, to present at the altar on the second day of 
the passover, or the sixteenth day after the first new moon in April, 
a ripe sheaf. For if they saw on the last month of the year, that 
the grain would not be ripe, as expected, they were compelled to 
make an intercalation, which commonly happened on the third year. 
After their departure from Egypt, there existed among the 


Hebrews two modes of reckoning the months of the year ; the 
one civil, the other sacred. The beginning of the civil year was 
reckoned from the seventh month, or Tishri, i. e. the first new- 
moon in October. The commencement of the sacred year was 
reckoned from the month Nisan, or the first new-moon in April, 
because the Hebrews departed from Egypt on the fifteenth day of 
that month, Exod. 12: 2. The prophets use this reckoning. The 
civil year, which was the more ancient, was used only in civil and 
agricultural concerns. The Jewish Rabbins say, that March and 
September, instead of April and October, were the initial months, 
of these two years. That they were so at a late period is admit- 
ted, but the change was probably owing to the example of the Ro- 
mans, who began their year with the month of March. The Jews, 
being pleased with their example in this respect, or overruled by 
their authority, adopted the same practice. That this is the most 
probable statement, is evident also from the fact, that the position 
of the Rabbins is opposed not only by Josephus, but by the usage 
of the Syriac and Arabic languages ; from the fact also, that the pre- 
scribed observances of the three great festival days will not agree 
with the months of March and September, as has been shown by 
Michaelis, see Commentat. de Mensibus Hebraeorum in Soc. Reg. 
Goett. 1763—1768, p. 10. et seq. 

Months, WCS s mi sometimes also called t3"Minft, from the circum- 
stance of their commencing with the new-moon, anciently had no 
separate names, with the exception of the first, which was called 
Abib, i. e. " the month of the young ears of corn," Exod. 13: 4. 
23: 15. 34: 18. Deut. 16: 1. During the captivity, the Hebrews 
adopted the Babylonian names for their months. They were as 
follows ; 

I. fD"»: — Nisan, reckoned from new-moon of April, Neh. 2: 1. 

II. Tn — Zif or Ziv, also called n^N, — of May, 1 K. 6: 1. 

III. "p/p— Sivan, of June, Est. 8: 9. 

IV. nan — Tammuz, of July. 

V. 32* — Ab, of August. 

VI. ^b«— Elul, of Sept. Neh. 6: 15. 

VII. 'n'iSn— Tishri, also tftjiy^rt rTV , of Oct. 1 K. 8: 2. 

VIII. b*l'3- — Bul, also fjttjrj-ja, of Nov. 1 K. 6: 38. 

IX. Kislev, of Dec. Neh. 1: !. 

X. natt— Tebeth, of Jan. Est. 2: 16. 


XI. tto'ij — Shebat, of February, Zech. 1: 7. 

XII. TIN — Adar, of March, Est. 3: 7. 

The first month here mentioned, Nisan, was originally called 
Abib. The intercalary month is denominated in Hebrew "Tltt* 

Note. The division of the year into six parts has already been 
mentioned § 19. and need not be repeated here ; but we cannot 
avoid saying a few words on a subject, connected with the present 
one, viz. the longevity of the antediluvians. Certain critics have 
put their skill into requisition to convert the hundreds of their years 
into tens, or into quarters of years, or into months, or into sum- 
mers and winters. Certainly they forget, that the orientals of the 
earliest period, as well as the modern Arabs, not only had a 
knowledge of the proper solar year, but divided it both into months 
and into six periods of two months each. Clearly then, if the au- 
thor of the first part of Genesis had meant to say, that the antedilu- 
vians lived so many months or other less periods of time, instead of 
so many years, he would have said so, in the terms commonly used 
to express those minor divisions. Besides, the attempt, to reduce 
the years of the antediluvians to months especially, will make them, 
in some instances, the fathers of children at five years of age. 
What some of the ancients say, in regard to a year much shorter 
than the solar one, is, as Diodorus Siculus expressly assures us, 
nothing more than a mere conjecture, originated, to account for 
the great number of years, which the Egyptians and other nations 
attributed to their ancestry. 

§ 104. Surveying, the Mechanic Arts, and Geography. 

I. Surveying. Measures of length are mentioned, Gen. 6: 15, 16. 
A knowledge of the method of measuring lands is implied in the ac- 
count given Gen. 47: 20 — 27. Mention is made, in the books of Job 
and Joshua, of a line or rope for the purpose of taking measurements, 
*)£ , bnfr . It was brought by the Hebrews out of Egypt, where, 
according to the unanimous testimony of antiquity, surveying first 
had its origin, and, in consequence of the inundations of the Nile, 
was carried to the greatest height. It was here, as we may well 
conclude, that the Hebrews acquired so much knowledge of the 
principles of that science, as to enable them, with the aid of the 

114 § MEDICINE. 

measuring line abovementioned, to partition and set off geograph- 
ically the whole land of Canaan. The weights used in weighing 
solid bodies, Gen. 23: 15, 16. provided they were similar to each 
other in form, imply a knowledge of the rudiments of stereometry. 

II. The Mechanic Arts. No express mention is made of the me- 
chanic arts; but that a knowledge of them, notwithstanding, ex- 
isted, may be inferred from the erection of Noah's ark and the 
tower of Babel ; also from what is said of the Egyptian chariots, 
Gen. 41: 43. 45: 19. 50: 9. Exod. 14: 6, 7; and from the instru- 
ments used by the Egyptians in irrigating their lands, Deut. 11: 10. 
It is implied in the mention of these, and subsequently of many oth- 
er instruments, that other instruments still, not expressly named, 
but which were of course necessary for the formation of those 
which arc named, were in existence. 

III. Geography. Geographical notices occur so frequently in 
the Bible, that it is not necessary to say much on this point, see 
Gen. 10:1— 30. 12:4—15. 14:1—16. 2S: 2— 9. 49:13,&,c. Per- 
haps, however, it deserves to be repeated, that, in the time of 
Joshua, the whole of Palestine was subjected to a geographical 
division, Josh. 18: 9. It is evident then, from their geographical 
knowledge, as well as from other circumstances already mention- 
ed, that there must have existed among the Hebrews the rudiments, 
if nothing more, of mathematical science. 

§ 105. Medicine. 

At Babylon the sick, when they were first attacked with a dis- 
ease, were left in the streets, for the purpose of learning from 
those who might pass them, what practices, or what medicines 
they had found of assistance, when afflicted with a similar disease. 
This was perhaps done also in other countries. The Egyptians 
carried their sick into the temples of Serapis ; the Greeks carried 
theirs into those of Esculapius. In both of these temples, there 
were preserved written receipts of the means by which vari- 
ous cures had been effected. With the aid of these recorded 
remedies, the art of healing assumed in the progress of time the 
aspect of a science. It assumed such a form, first, in Egypt, and 
at a much more recent period, in Greece ; but it was not long be- 
fore those of the former were surpassed in excellence by the phy- 

§ 105. MEDICINE. 


sicians of the latter country. That the Egyptians, however, had 
no little skill in medicine, may be gathered from what is said in 
the Pentateuch respecting the marks of leprosy. That some of 
the medical prescriptions should fail of bringing the expected re- 
lief, is nothing strange, since Pliny himself mentions some, which 
are far from producing the effects, he ascribes to them. Physicians, 
fc\S;?n, NSH, are mentioned first in Gen. 50: 2. Exod. 21: 19. Job 
13: 4. Some acquaintance with chirurgical operations is implied in 
the rite of circumcision, Gen. 17: 11— ;14. There is ample evi- 
dence, that the Israelites had some acquaintance with the inter- 
nal structure of the human system, although it does not appear, 
that dissections of the human body for medical purposes were 
made till as late as the time of Ptolemy. That physicians some- 
times undertook to exercise their skill in removing diseases of an 
internal nature, is evident from the circumstance of David's play- 
ing upon the harp, to cure the malady of Saul, 1 Sam. 16: 16. The 
art of healing was committed among the Hebrews, as well as 
among the Egyptians, to the priests ; who, indeed, were obliged, 
by a law of the state, to take cognizance of leprosies, Lev. 
13: 1 — 14, 57. Deut. 24: 8, 9. Reference is made to physicians 
who were not priests, and to instances of sickness, disease, healing, 
&c. in the following passages, 1 Sam. 16: 16. 1 K. 1: 2 — 4. 15: 23. 
2K. 8: 29. 9: 15. Is. 1: 6. Jer. 8: 22. Ezek. 30: 21. Prov. 3: 18. 
11: 30. 12: 18. 16: 15. 29: 1. The probable reason of king Asa's 
not seeking help from God, but from the physicians, as mentioned 
2 Chron. 16: 12. was, that they had not at that period recourse to 
the simple medicines which nature offered, but to certain super- 
stitious rites and incantations ; and this, no doubt, was the ground 
of the reflection which was cast upon him. The balm or balsam, 
"■"iJfc, ^Sfc, was particularly celebrated as a medicine, Jer. 8: 22. 
46: 11. 51: 8. That mineral baths were deemed worthy of no- 
tice may be inferred from Gen. 36: 24. [see Gesenius on the word 
D^ttV] About the time of Christ, the Hebrew physicians both 
made advancements in science, and increased in numbers, Mark 5: 
26. Luke 4: 23. 5: 31. 8: 43. Josephus, Antiq. XVII. 6. 5. It ap- 
pears from the Talmud, Shabbath, p. 110, that the Hebrew phy- 
sicians were accustomed to salute the sick by saying, " Arise from 
your disease." ' This salutation had an effect in the mouth of Je- 
sus, Mark 5: 41. According to the Jerusalem Talmud, a sick man 


was judged to be in a way of recovery, who began to take his usual 
food, comp. Mark 5: 43. 

§ 106. Physics, Natural History, and Philosophy. 

Physics, or natural philosophy, has secured but little attention 
in the East. A knowledge of the animal, vegetable, and mine- 
ral kingdoms, or the science of natural history, was always much 
more an object of interest. We are informed in 1 Kgs. 4: 33. that 
Solomon himself had given a description of the animal and vegeta- 
ble kingdoms. 

Traces of philosophy, strictly so called, i. e. the system of pre- 
vailing moral opinions, may be found in the book of Job, in the 
3?th, 39th, and 73d Psalms, also in the books of Proverbs and Ec- 
clesiastes, but chiefly in the apocryphal book of Wisdom, and the 
writings of the son of Sirach. During the captivity, the Jews ac- 
quired many new notions, particularly, from the Mehestani, and 
appropriated them, as occasion offered, to their own purposes. 
They at length became acquainted with the philosophy of the 
Greeks, which makes its appearance abundantly in the book oi 
Wisdom. After the captivity, the language, in which the sacred 
books were written, was no longer vernacular. Hence arose the 
need of an interpreter on the sabbatic year, a time, when the 
whole law was read ; and also on the sabbath in the synagogues, 
which had been recently erected, in order to make the people 
understand what was read. These interpreters learnt the He- 
brew language at the schools. The teachers of these schools, 
who, for the two generations preceding the time of Christ, had 
maintained some acquaintance with the Greek philosophy, were 
not satisfied with a simple interpretation of the Hebrew idiom, as 
it stood, but shaped the interpretation, so as to render it conform- 
able to their philosophy. Thus arose contentions, which gave 
occasion for the various sects of Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. 
In the time of our Saviour, divisions had arisen among the Phari- 
sees themselves. No less than eighteen nice questions, if we may 
believe the Jewish Rabbins, were contested, at that period, be- 
tween the schools of Hillel and Shammai. One of which ques- 
tions was an inquiry, " What cause was sufficient for a bill of di- 
vorce ?" If the Shammai and Hillel of the Talmud are the same 



with the learned men mentioned in Josephus, viz. Sameas and 
Pollio, who flourished thirty-four years before Christ, then Sham- 
mai or Sameas is undoubtedly the same with the Simeon, who is 
mentioned Luke 2: 25 — 35. and his son Gamaliel, so celebrated 
in the Talmud, is the same with the Gamaliel, mentioned Acts 
5: 34. 22: 3. 

Anciently learned men were denominated among the Hebrews 
tffl&bri , as among the Greeks they were called oocfoi, i. e. wise 
men. In the time of Christ the common appellative for men of 
that description was ygajupaTtug , in the Hebrew HEpD , ascribe. 
They were addressed by the honorary title of Rabbi 3^ , *3>1 , 
i. e. great or master. The Jews, in imitation of the Greeks, had 
their seven wise men, who were called Rabboni, ]Sn . Gamaliel 
was one of the number. They called themselves the children of 
wisdom ; an expression, which corresponds very nearly to the Greek 
qdoooqog, Matt. 11: 19. Luke 7: 35. The heads of sects were 
called fathers, Matt. 12: 27. 23: 1—9. The disciples, tPyjflfcfi, 
were denominated sons or children. The Jewish teachers, at 
least some of them, had private lecture rooms, but they also taught 
and disputed in synagogues, in temples, and in fact, wherever they 
could find an audience. The method of these teachers was the 
same with that, which prevailed among the Greeks. Any disci- 
ple, who chose, might propose questions, upon which it was the 
duty of the teachers to remark and give their opinions, Luke 2: 
46. The teachers were not invested with their functions by any 
formal act of the church or of the civil authority ; they were self- 
constituted. They received no other salary than some voluntary 
present from the disciples, which was called an honorary, Tip,r\, 
honorarium, 1 Tim. 5: 17. They acquired a subsistence in the 
main by the exercise of some art or handicraft. That they took 
a higher seat than their auditors, although it was probably the 
case, does not follow, as is sometimes supposed, from Luke 2: 46. 
According to the Talmudists they were bound to hold no conversa- 
tion with women, and to refuse to sit at table with the lower class 
of people, John 4: 27. Matt. 9: 11. The subjects, on which they 
taught were numerous, commonly intricate, and of no great con- 
sequence ; of which there are abundant examples in the Talmud. 



Note. — A sort of academical degree was conferred on the pu- 
pils in the Jewish seminaries, which, after the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, were established at Babylon and Tiberias. The circum- 
stances, attending the conferring of this degree, are described by 
Maimonides, Jad chazaka, Lib. VI. 4, as follows. 

I. The candidate for the degree was examined, both in re- 
spect to his moral character and his literary acquisitions. 

II. Having undergone this examination with approbation, the 
disciple then ascended an elevated seat, Matt. 23: 2. 

III. A writing tablet was presented to him to signify, that he 
should write down his acquisitions, since they might escape from 
his memory, and, without being written down, be lost. 

IV. A key was presented to signify, that he might now open 
to others the treasures of knowledge, Luke 11: 52. 

V. Hands were laid upon him ; a custom derived from Num. 
27: 18. 

VI. , A certain power, or authority, was conferred upon him, 
probably to be exercised over his own disciples. 

VII. Finally, he was saluted, in the school of Tiberias, with 
the title of Rabbi, 3n , in the school of Babylon, with that of Mas- 
ter, ~)72 . 




§ 107. Antiquity of Commerce. 

Merchandize, in its various branches, was carried on in the 
East, at the earliest period of which we have any account ; and it 
was not long before the traffic between nations, both by sea and 
land, was very considerable. Accordingly frequent mention is 
made of public roads, fording places, bridges, and beasts of bur- 
den ; also of ships for the transportation of property, of weights, 
measures, and coin, both in the oldest parts of the Bible, and in 
the most ancient profane histories, Gen. 10: 4 — 5. 12: 5. 23: 16. 
37: 25, 26. 42: 1—5. Judg. 5: 17. Exod. 20: 23. 25: 4. Deut. 3: 
14. 19: 3. Josh. 13: 2. 12: 5. 13: 13. 1 Sam. 27: 8—10. 2 Sam. 
3: 3. 13: 37. 15: 8. 

§ 108. Commerce of the Phenicians, Arabians, and Egyptians. 

The Phenicians anciently held the first rank, as a commercial 
nation. They were in the habit, either themselves in person or 
by their agents, of purchasing goods of various kinds throughout 
all the East. They then carried them in ships on the Mediterra- 
nean, as far as the shores of Africa and Europe, brought back in 
return merchandize and silver, and disposed of these again in the 
more Eastern countries. The first metropolis of the Phenicians 
was Sidon ; afterwards Tyre became the principal city. Tyre 
was built two hundred and forty years before the temple of Solo- 
mon, or twelve hundred and fifty one before Christ. The Phenicians 
had ports of their own in almost every country, the most distin- 
guished of which were Carthage, and Tarshish or Tartessus in 
Spain. The ships from the latter place undertook very distant 
voyages ; hence any vessels, that performed distant voyages, were 
called ships of Tarshish, UPaHft ni*3N. Something is said of the 
commerce of the Phenicians in the 27th and 28th chapters of Eze- 
kiel, and the 23d chapter of Isaiah. 



The inhabitants of Arabia Felix carried on a commerce with 
India. They carried some of the articles, which they brought 
from India, through the straits of Babelmandeb into Abyssinia and 
Egypt ; some they transported to Babylon through the Persian 
gulf and the Euphrates ; and some by the way of the Red Sea to 
the port of Eziongeber. They thus became rich, though it is 
possible, their wealth may have been too much magnified by the 
ancients. The eminence of the Egyptians, as a commercial na- 
tion, commences with the reign of Necho and his successor Psam- 
meticus. Their commerce, nevertheless, was not great, till Alex- 
ander had destroyed Tyre and built Alexandria. 

§ 109. Mercantile Routs. 

The Phenicians sometimes received the goods of India by way 
of the Persian gulf, where they had colonies in the islands of 
Dedan, Arad, and Tyre. Sometimes they received them from 
the Arabians, who either brought them by land through Arabia 
or up the Red Sea to Eziongeber. In the latter case, having 
landed them at the port mentioned, they transported them through 
the country by the way of Gaza to Phenicia. The Phenicians 
increased the amount of their foreign goods by the addition of 
those which .they themselves fabricated, and were thus enabled 
to supply all parts of the Mediterranean. The Egyptians former- 
ly received their goods from the Phenicians, Arabians, Africans, 
and Abyssinians ; in all of which countries, there are still the re- 
mains of large trading towns. But in a subsequent age, they im- 
ported goods from India in their own vessels, and eventually car- 
ried on an export trade with various ports on the Mediterranean. 
Oriental commerce, however, was chiefly carried on by land. Ac- 
cordingly vessels are hardly mentioned in the Bible, except in Ps. 
107: 23 — 30. and in passages, where the discourse turns upon 
the Phenicians, or upon the naval affairs of Solomon and Jehosh- 
aphat. The two principal routs from Palestine into Egypt, were 
the one along the shores of the Mediterranean from Gaza to Pe- 
lusium, and the other from Gaza by the way of mount Sinai and the 
Elanitic branch of the Red Sea. 


§ 110. Method of carrying goods by land. 

Chariots were anciently in use among the inhabitants of the 
East. The merchants, notwithstanding, transported their goods 
upon camels ; animals, which are patient of thirst, and are easily 
supported in the deserts. For the common purpose of security 
against depredations, the oriental merchants travelled in company, 
as is common in the East at the present day. A large travelling 
company of this kind was called a caravan or carvan, rnk , 
i~rh"]N. A smaller one was called Jcafile or kajle, n^bfr , Greek 
Gvlodia, Job 6: 18—20. Gen. 37: 25. Is. 21: 13. Jer. 9: 2.' Judg. 5: 
6. Luke 2: 44. The furniture carried by the individuals of a cara- 
van consisted of a mattress, a coverlet, a carpet for sitting upon, a 
round piece of leather, which answered the purpose of a table, a 
few pots and kettles of copper covered with tin, also a tin-plated 
cup, which was suspended before the breast under the outer gar- 
ment, and was used for drinking, 1 Sam. 26: 11, 12, 16; leathern 
bags for holding water, tents, lights, and provisions in quality and 
abundance, as each one could afford. Ezek. 12: 3. Every car- 
avan had a leader to conduct it through the desert, who was ac- 
quainted with the direction of its rout, and with the cisterns and 
fountains. These he was able to ascertain, sometimes from heaps 
of stones, sometimes by the character of the soil, and when other 
helps failed him, by the stars, Num. 10: 29—32. Jer. 31: 21. Is. 21: 
14. When all things are in readiness, the individuals, who compose 
the caravan, assemble at a distance from the city. The command- 
er of the caravan, who is a different person from the conductor or 
leader, and is chosen from the wealthiest of its members, appoints 
the day of their departure. A similar arrangement was adopted 
among the Jews, whenever they travelled in large numbers to 
the city of Jerusalem. The caravans start very early, some- 
times before day. They endeavour to find a stopping place or 
station to remain at during the night, which shall afford them a 
supply of water, Job 6: 15 — 20. They arrive at their stopping 
place before the close of the day, and while it is yet light, prepare 
every thing, that is necessary for the recommencement of their 
journey. In order to prevent any one from wandering away from 
the caravan and getting lost during the night, lamps or torch- 
es are elevated upon poles and carried before it. The pillar of 


fire answered this purpose for the Israelites, when wandering in 
the wilderness. Sometimes the caravans lodge in cities ; but 
when they do not, they pitch their tents so as to form an encamp- 
ment, and during the night keep watch alternately for the sake of 
security. In the cities there are public inns, called khanes and 
caravansaries, in which the caravans are lodged without expense. 
They are large, square buildings, in the centre of which is an 
area or open court. Caravansaries are denominated in the Greek 
of the New Testament navdoyjlov, 'aoltuXvgiq, and aatctkv^a, 
Luke 2: 7. 10: 34. The first mention of one in the Old Testament 
is in Jer. 41: 17, EmE3 rvna. It was situated near the city of 

§ 111. Commerce of the Hebrews. 

Moses enacted no laws in favour of commerce, although there 
is no question, that he saw the situation of Palestine to be very 
favorable for it. The reason of this was, that the Hebrews who 
were designedly set apart to preserve the true religion, could not 
mingle with foreign idolatrous nations without injury. He, there- 
fore, merely inculcated good faith and honesty in buying and sell- 
ing, Lev. 19: 36, 37. Deut. 25: 13—16 ; and left all the other in- 
terests of commerce to a future age. By the establishment, how- 
ever, of the three great festivals, he gave occasion for some mer- 
cantile intercourse. At these festivals all the adult males of the 
nation were yearly assembled at one place. The consequence 
was, that those, who had any thing to sell, brought it ; while 
those, who wished to buy articles, came with the expectation of 
having an opportunity. As Moses, though he did not encourage, did 
not interdict foreign commerce ; Solomon, at a later period, not 
only carried on a traffic in horses, as already stated, but sent ships 
from the port of Eziongeber through the Red Sea to Ophir, (probably 
the coast of Africa,) and also had commercial intercourse even with 
Spain, 1 K. 9: 26. 2 Chron. 9: 21. This traffic, although a source of 
emolument, appears to have been neglected after the death of Solo- 
mon. The attempt made by Jehoshaphat to restore it, was frustrated 
by his ships being dashed upon the rocks and destroyed, 1 K. 22: 48, 
49. 2 Chron. 20: 36. Joppa, though not a very convenient one, 
was properly the port of Jerusalem ; and some of the large ves- 



sels, which went to Spain, sailed from it, Jonah 1:3. In the age of 
EzekieJ, the commerce of Jerusalem was so great, that it gave oc- 
casion of envy even to the Tyrians themselves, Ezek. 26: 2. After 
the captivity, a great number of Jews became merchants, and trav- 
elled for the purpose of traffic into all countries. About the year 
150 B. C, prince Simon rendered the port at Joppa more conven- 
ient, than it had hitherto been. In the time of Pompey the Great, 
there were so many Jews abroad on the ocean, even in the char- 
acter of pirates, that king Antigonus was accused before him of 
having sent them out on purpose. A new port was built by Herod 
at Cesarea. 

§ 112. Weights and measures. 

Commerce could not be carried on without coin, nor without a 
system of weights and measures. Weights and measures were 
regulated at a very early period in Asia. Regulations in regard 
to them as far as concerned the Hebrews were made by Moses, 
and measures and weights to serve as models, both for form and 
contents, were deposited in the tabernacle. All the duties in re- 
gard to this subject devolved, among the Jews as well as among 
the Egyptians, upon the priests. After the time of Solomon the 
models for weights, &,c. were deposited in the temple ; consequent- 
ly, when the temple was destroyed, they perished with it. The 
Hebrews, while in captivity, used, as might be expected, the 
weights and measures of their masters. The prophet Ezekiel is 
a proof of this, who speaks of cubits and weights, evidently the 
same with those in use after the captivity. The weights and meas- 
ures of the Jews, therefore, are to be distinguished into those 
before, and those after the captivity. Whenever they are men- 
tioned by the Alexandrine translators, or by Josephus y they belong 
to the latter period. The amount and extent of weights and meas- 
ures before the captivity cannot be accurately determined. 

§ 113. Measures of Length. 

Almost all nations have taken their measures of length from 
the parts of the human body, and what their extent was among the 
Jews before the captivity can be learnt only by a reference to those 
parts. v 



I. *3itfi$ , a finger or digit. Its length was about the breadth 
of a finger. [According to the tables, appended to the third vol- 
ume of Home's Introduction to the Scriptures, which are taken 
chiefly from Dr. Arbuthnot, the Jewish digit is 9 12th of an En- 
glish inch.] 

II. tW& , nob, a palm or four digits, otherwise called a hand- 
breadth, 1 K. 7: 26. comp. 2 Chron. 4: 5: Jer. 52: 21. 

III. rnt , a span, viz. from the end of the thumb to the end of 
the little finger, or three palms, Exod. 28: 16. 39: 9. 1 Sam. 17: 4. 

IV. H72tt , a cubit. It extended from the elbow to the wrist, 
Ezek. 41: 8. or four palms, about the sixth part of the height of 
the human body, Deut. 3: 11. 1 Sam. 17: 4. Ezekiel, chap. 40: 5. 
43: 13. mentions a cubit of five palms, i. e. the extent from the 
elbow to the knuckles. This appears to have been the Babylonian 
or new cubit, of which mention is made in 2 Chron. 3: 3. comp. 
Herodot. I. 178. and Solinus 56. 2. 

V. 1733 , a measure which was probably the length of a man's 
arm, Judg. 3: 16. 

VI. nap, a measuring reed of six cubits, or the length of the 
human body. Ezekiel, chap. 40: 5, mentions a Babylonian reed of 
a little more than six cubits in length. 

VII. N0' , "3 , a Chaldaic word, Greek aiadiov, a stadium or 
furlong. It was a Greek measure adopted by the Jews, and was 
one hundred and twenty-five geometrical paces in extent, or the six 
hundredth part of a degree, making one hundred and forty five 
English paces, four feet, and six tenths, John 6: 19. 11: 18. Rev. 
14: 20. 21: 16. The Egyptian furlong was sixty seven fathoms 
and two feet. 

VIII. "Odog aa/?/?arou, a sabbath day's journey , viz. seven hun- 
dred and twenty-nine English paces and three feet, Acts 1: 12. 
This measure is a sort of Jewish invention founded on Exod. 16: 29. 

IX. MiKiov, a Roman mile, being eight furlongs, or a thousand 
geometrical paces, Matt. 5: 41. 

X. y"\Nil Pleas', « little way, Gen. 35: 16. 2 K. 5: 19; ac- 
cording to the Septuagint a horse's race, lnTi6dgof.iog, i. e. as the 
Arabians inform us, a parasang, by which word the phrase is trans- 
lated in the Peshito. It was about four English miles. 

XI. Di*n tfiffif a day's journey. It is sometimes greater and 

§ 114. HOLLOW MEASURES. 125 

sometimes less, varying from twenty to thirty miles, see Herodot. 
V. 53. 

§ 114. Hollow Measures. 

I. y^p, a handful, a measure not accurately defined, Lev. 2: 
2. 5: 12." 

II. 1Kb, an omer, used, as appears from Exod. 16: 16, 18, 22, 
32, 33, 36, in the measurement of dry articles. It contained the 
portion, which was assigned to each individual for his daily food. 
It corresponded to the #o7^£, the choenix of the Greeks, and held 
five pints and one tenth English corn measure ; [see Home's In- 
trod. to the Scriptures, Vol. III. App. no. II.] 

III. SlG"W , ncfij , an ephah, the Egyptian oiqi, a measure for 
dry articles. It contained, as we learn from Exod. 16: 36, ten 
omers. The genuineness of that passage is, indeed, somewhat 
doubtful, but at any rate it is very ancient, since it is found in all 
the ancient versions, even the Samaritan itself. It held three pecks 
and three pints. The bath, a measure for liquids, was of the same 
size. Josephus, however, Antiq. VIII. 2. § 9. makes a bath equal 
to seventy-two Itoxat, an attic measure holding a pint. If this 
be true, it was the j same in capacity with the pexQrizrjQ, a firkin, 
which was an Attic measure, commonly represented equal to sev- 
enty-two Ztarai, or nine English gallons, John 2: 6. 

IV. rtNO, a seah. It appears to be merely the Hebrew name 
of that measure, which was called, by a word of Egyptian origin, 
ephah, comp. Gen. 18: 6. with Judg. 6: 19. 2 K. 7: 16, 18. and 1 Sam. 
25: 18. It is thought by some to be the third part of an ephah. 
This measure occurs in the New Testament, under the word 
ocaov, derived from the Hebrew &*fjftO. Josephus, Antiq. IX. 2. 
remarks in regard to this measure, that it contained (xodtov koli 
ijficov haliy.ov an Italian bushel and a half, i. e. a peck and a half 

V. *M2n, a homer, used both for liquids and dry articles ; also 
called 13, a kor. It held ten ephahs ; consequently the lethek, 
^nb, , which was half its size, held five ephahs. 

VI. ijp f a kab. It appears to have been used for dry articles 
merely, 2 K. 6: 25. From the passage in Kings, it is clear, that 
it was a measure of small dimensions.^ 

120 § 115. WEIGHTS AND MONEY. 

VII. *pft , a hin ; used for liquids. A third, half, and fourth 
part of a hin are mentioned. It is supposed to be the sixth-part 
of a bath, which agrees sufficiently well with those places, where it 

VIII. « log, the twelfth part of a hin. 

IX. l-i-^D, a pur ah. The connexion in Is. 63: 2, requires this 
word to be rendered wine-vat, but in Hag. 2: 11, it appears to be 
the name of an unknown Persian measure. 

X. xtozriQ, the Roman sextarius, containing the forty-eighth 
part of an amphora. 

XI. Modiog, the Roman bushel, used for dry articles, contain- 
ing a peck in English measure. 

XII. MngrjirjQ, a Greek measure, a third part larger than the 
Roman amphora, being a Roman foot and a half in length, breadth 
and height. 

§ 125. Weights and Money. 

In oriental countries, as far back as the time of Abraham, the 
value of goods was estimated at a certain quantity of silver, the puri- 
ty of which was taken into account by the merchant, Gen. 23: 16. 
But there is no trace of stamped silver or coin, previous to the 
captivity. Nor indeed was it at that early period divided into 
pieces of a certain size. It was commonly weighed out in bal- 
ances, D^Tfefa , O^f* though its weight was sometimes ascertain- 
ed by means of an instrument for weighing, answering to the mod- 
ern steel-yards. Merchants were accordingly in the habit of 
carrying about with themselves balances and weights in a sort of 
pouch or bag. The weights were stones ; hence they are called 
fc^N, words which commonly mean stones, Lev. 19:36. 

Deu T t" 25: 13— 18. Prov. 11: 1. 16: 11. Mic. 6: 11. Persons who 
were disposed to be fraudulent, sometimes carried two sets of 
weights, a heavier and a lighter set, fitfi fltf, using sometimes 
the one and sometimes the other, as best suited their interest. 

Gold, even so late as the time of David, was not used as a 
standard of value, but was considered merely as a very precious 
article of commerce, and was weighed like other articles. The 
oldest weight, that is mentioned, is denominated in Hebrew 
JTti^p . The same word is applied also to a piece of silver or 



gold, but the amount or quantity designated by it, is in both cases 
unknown, Gen. 33: 19. Josh. 24: 32. Job 42: IL In the time of 
Moses, the weight most in use was the shekel, ^pxd , its half, 9$fy t 
and its twentieth part, SfMi. An hundred shekels made a mina, 
i"i:72, fiiva, 2 Chron. 9: 16. comp. 1 Kgs. 10: 17: and thirty minae 
or three thousand shekels made a talent ""133, Exod. 38: 25, 26. 
The Greek talent varied in different countries ; the Athenian was 
estimated at six thousand drachms. 

§ 116. Weights and Money before the Captivity. 

The Jewish Rabbins, in their statements in regard to weights, 
estimate them, like the modern Persians, according to the num- 
ber of grains of barley, to which they are equivalent. That is to 
say, they make a grain of barley the smallest weight. This is 
the method of the Rabbins. The ancient Hebrews undoubtedly, 
as well as certain nations of profane antiquity, selected a seed of 
pulse, (siliqua,) as the representative of the smallest weight, with 
which they were acquainted. The Hebrew name for this weight 
is rna . Fannius, a contemporary with Augustus, says that six 
such seeds made a scruple, and three scruples a drachm. Hence, 
a drachm contained eighteen siliguae, or Hebrew gcrahs, which Ei- 
senschmid, in his treatise on weights and measures, p. 23, finds 
equal to eighty seven or eight Parisian grains. Consequently 
twenty of them, which are equivalent to a shekel, would be equal 
to ninety six or seven Parisian grains, or about ten pennyweights, 
English valuation. 

Beside the common legal or sacred shekel, there was another 
in the time of the kings, called " the king's shekel." The hair of 
Absalom was weighed with this sort of shekel, and amounted to 
two hundred of them. The heaviest head of hair, that has been 
found in England, weighed five ounces. Absalom's we may well 
suppose, could not have weighed more than ten. This supposi- 
tion would lead us to the conclusion, that the royal did not amount 
to more than the fourth, perhaps not to more than the fifth or sixth 
part of the legal shekel. 

Gold was dealt out by the weights, which have been mention- 
ed, but its value, for instance the value of a gerah or shekel of 
gold, cannot be accurately estimated, because we do not know 


precisely what its worth was, when compared with that of silver. 
The shekel used in weighing gold was the royal one. The diffi- 
culty of ascertaining the true worth- of any quantity of gold men- 
tioned in the scriptures is increased by the circumstance, that the 
gold itself possessed different degrees of purity ; in some instances 
it was adulterated and in other instances more fine than usual. 

§ 117. Weights and Money after the Captivity. 

During the captivity of the Jews and after their return from it, 
they made use of the weights and the coin of other nations. Eze- 
kiel, accordingly, chap. 45: 12, mentions foreign manehs of differ- 
ent weight, viz. of fifteen, of twenty, and of twenty five shekels. 
The coin, which the Jews used at this period, was the Persian, Gre- 
cian, and Roman. It was not till the time of the Maccabean prin- 
ces, that they had a mint of their own, and coined gold and silver 
for themselves. The most ancient coin of which we have any 
knowledge, is the Persian gold coin, called the daric, dagetaog, 
fl&3*n , ^i^N , 1 Chron. 29: 7. Ezra 2: 69. 8: 27. Neh. 7: 70, 72. 

The name does not take its origin from Darius the king, but from 
/ / / / 

the Persian word fpfo or of^fo a ^ n g >' a word, which was ap- 
plied to the coin in question in order to signify, that it was stamp- 
ed by the royal authority, and to distinguish it from any coin, that 
might be stamped and put in circulation by private merchants. 
The impression on this coin exhibits on one side of it the repre- 
sentation of a king ; on the reverse an archer, holding in his left 
hand a bow and in his right hand an arrow, and having upon his 
head an acuminated tiara. Suidas, the scholiast of Aristophanes, 
eywhjg, V. 598, and Harpocration represent the daric as equal 
in weight to twenty drachms. [" According to Dr. Bernard, the 
daric weighed two grains more than the English guinea ; but as 
it was very fine and contained little alloy, it may be reckoned 
worth about twenty five shillings English money," Rees' Cyclop. 
Art. Daric] 

A coin, very much in circulation among the Greeks, was the 
stater, oxaxriQ, Matt. 17: 26, equal in weight to the shekel of the 
Hebrews. It was otherwise called tetradrachmon, zaTQadQayjiov, 
because it weighed four drachms ; it amounted to two shillings, 
seven pence English. This coin exhibits on one side the head of 



Minerva, and on the reverse an owl together with a short in- 
scription. It appears, therefore, from the above, that a drachma, 
dQct'/W, was the fourth part of the stater. It was, however, of 
different value in different places ; the Alexandrian, for instance, be- 
ing of double the amount of the Grecian. The drachma, although 
it was in real value about a seventh part more, was nevertheless 
considered, in common mercantile exchange, as equal to the Ro- 
man denarius, i. e. seven pence two farthings English. The coin 
exhibited on one side the Roman goddess of victory, and on the 
reverse a chariot drawn by four horses. At a recent period the 
reverse exhibited the head of Cesar, Matt. 22: 19. 

The Jewish prince, Simon, 1 Mac. 15: 16. struck off a curren- 
cy under the denomination of shekels, which weighed a stater 
each, or, according to F. Mersenne's estimate, two hundred 
and sixty eight grains. The value of this shekel in English 
money was two shillings, three pence and three farthings. When 
it was coined in gold, its value was l£. 16s. 6d. Of those shekels 
which remain, those only are considered genuine, which have in- 
scriptions upon them in the Samaritan character. Some, that have 
such inscriptions, may have been struck off at comparatively a 
recent period in imitation of those, that were really ancient. The 
inscriptions on them are various. 

The Roman as, acoagiov, weighed nine pennyweights and 
three grains ; its value was three farthings and one tenth. It was 
a brass coin, and anciently exhibited on one side a figure of Janus, 
but latterly the head of Cesar. The representation on the re- 
verse was the stern of a ship, Matt. 10: 29. Luke 12: 6. A quar- 
ter part of an as was called quadrans, xodQCivrrjg. The Greek 
coin called Xenxov was of very small value, being the fourth part 
of a quadrans, Matt. 5: 26. Mark 12: 42. 

The weight denominated Vtrga varied in different countries. 
Many kinds of merchandise were sold according to the litra of the 
particular country, from which they were brought. Its amount, 
therefore, cannot be stated, John 12: 3. 19: 39. 

Note. — It ought to be remarked, that silver and gold ancient- 
ly were more scarce than at present, and consequently of greater 
value. Its value in the fourth century before Christ was to its 
value in England in the year 1780, as ten to one. So that 



four hundred and forty grains of silver would purchase as much 
at the last mentioned period, as four thousand four hundred would 
at the first. 

Note — [The translator has thought it best, in a number of 
the last *sections, to substitute the English modes of reckoning 
weights and measures, &c. instead of the German and Parisian, 
which are so frequently referred to by Dr Jahn. This, which he 
was bound to do in justice to the English reader, will account for 
the peculiar aspect, which the translation wears, in the sections 
mentioned, in comparison with the original. The following ta- 
bles, which are not in the original, are taken from the third vol- 
ume of Home's Introduction to the Scriptures, App. no. II. We 
are there informed, that they are extracted chiefly from Dr Ar- 
buthnot's " Tables of ancient Coins, Weights, and Measures."] 



1. Jewish weights reduced to English troy weight. 

lbs. oz. pen. gr. 

The gerah, one-twentieth of a shekel .... 12 

The beka, half a shekel * 5 

The shekel 10 

The maneh, 60 shekels 2 6 

The talent, 50 manehs or 3000 shekels ... 125 

2. Scripture measures of length reduced to English measure. 

Eng. feet. inch. 

A dig it 912 

4 I A pa lm 3 648 

12 I 3 I A sp an '0 10-944 

24 I 6 I 2 I A cubit 1 9-888 

96 I 24 I 8 I 4 I A fa thom 7 3-552 

144 I 36 I 12 I 6 1 1-5 | Ezeki el's reed 10 11 328 

192 I 48 I 16 I 8 I 2~j 1-3 | An Arabian pole • 14 7-104 

1920 I 480 I 160 I 80 I 20 j 13 3 j 10 1 Aschoenus or meas. line . 145 11-04 



3. The long Scripture measures. 

Eng. miles, paces, feet. 

A cubit 1-824 

400 I A sta dium or furlong 145 4 6 

2000 I 5 I A sabbath day's journey 729 3 

4000 I 10 1 2 I An eastern mile 1 403 10 

12000 I 30 I 6 I 3 I A parasang ■ . ... ; 4 153 3-0 

96000 I 240 I 48 j 24 I 8 1 A day's journey . . . . 33 172 4-0 

4. Scripture measures of capacity for liquids , reduced to English 
wine measure. 

Gal. pints. 

Acaph 0625 

1-3 I A lo g 0-833 

5-3 I 4 I A kab 8-333 

16 I 12 j 3 1 A h in 12 

32 I 24 I 6[ 2 1 A s eah . . . : ... 2 4 

"96 j" 72 j 18 1 ~6~~ | 3 | A bath or ephah 7 4 

960 j 720 I 180 I 60 f 20 | 10~| A kor or coros, chomer or homer 75 5 

5. Scripture measures of capacity for things dry, reduced to 

English corn measure. 

Pecks, gal. pints. 

A gac hal 01416 

20 I A kab . . . ... . . . . . 2 8333 

36 I 1-8 I An omer or gomer 5-1 

120 I 6 j 3-3 I A seah 10 1 

360 j "18~T 10 I 3 1 An ephah 3 3 

1800 1 90 I 50 I 15 I 5 I A l etek . . M . . 16 

3600 j 180 j 100 j 30 j 10 I 2 I A chomer, homer, or kor . 32 1 

6. Jewish money reduced to the English standard. 

£ s. d. 

A gerah 1-2687 

10 I A bek a 1 1-6875 

20 1 2 I A she kel . ' 2 3-375 

1200 1 120 I 50 1 A m aneh, or mina Hebraica . . 5 14 0-75 

60000 I 6000—3000 | 60 | A talent 342 3 9 

A solidus aureus, or sextula, was worth . . . . 12 0-5 

A siclus aureus, or gold shekel, was worth . . . 1 16 6 

A talent of gold was worth ...... 5475 

In the preceding table, silver is valued at 5s. and gold at £4 per ounce. 



7. Roman money, mentioned in the New Testament, reduced to the 
English standard. 

, £ s. d. far. 

A mite (Iznrov or daaagiov) . ... Of 

A farthing (xudgavziig,) about . . . 1} 

A penny or denarius (devuQLOv) . . . 7 3 

A pound or mina . . . 3 2 6 


§ 118. Materials op which clothes were made. 

Our first parents in the first instance protected themselves 
with the leaves of the fig-tree ; afterwards, with the skins of ani- 
mals. Subsequently some method, as we may suppose, was dis- 
covered for matting together the hair of animals and making a 
sort of felt cloth. Later still the art of weaving was introduced, 
and a web was formed by combining the hair of animals with 
threads drawn from wool, cotton, or flax. At any rate the art^ of 
manufacturing cloths by spinning and weaving is of very great an- 
tiquity, Gen. 14:23. 31:18,19. 37:3. 38:28. 41:42. 45: 22. Job 
7: 6. 31: 20. The Egyptians were very celebrated for such man- 
ufactures. The Israelites, while living among them, learnt the 
art, and even excelled their teachers, 1 Chron. 4: 21. While 
wandering in the Arabian wilderness, they prepared the materi- 
als for covering the tabernacle, and wrought some of them with 
embroidery. Cotton cloth was esteemed most valuable, next to 
that, woollen and linen. That which was manufactured from the 
hair of animals, was esteemed of least value. Of silk there is no 
mention made at a very early period, unless perchance it be in 
Ezekiel 16: 10, 13. under the word ij&ta This, however, is 



clear, that Alexander found silks in Persia, and it is more than 
probable, that the Median dress, which we find was adopted by 
the Persians under Cyrus, was silk. Silk was not introduced 
among the nations of Europe, till a late period. 

§ 119. Colours of Cloths. 

White was esteemed the most appropriate colour for cotton 
cloth, and purple for the others. On festival days the rich and 
powerful robed themselves in white cotton, which was consider- 
ed the most splendid dress. It was denominated in the earlier 
Hebrew by the synonymous words and ^3 , and after the cap- 
tivity by another synonyme, viz. yia , the Greek (ivooog . The ful- 
lers, tPpnb, had discovered the art, a singular one, it is true, of 
communicating a very splendid white to cloth by the aid of alkali 
and urine. Hence, lest their shops should communicate a fetid- 
ness to the atmosphere, where it might be of injury, they lived 
out of the city, Is. 7: 3. Cotton cloth coloured purple was de- 
nominated in Hebrew "JJM'lN and tl73j?"i , and in Chaldaic flS'lN . 
It was coloured by the blood taken from a vein in the throat of a 
certain shell-fish. The colour was very highly esteemed, seemed 
to be a medium hue between brown and pure red, and was very 
bright ; it was essentially the same with the celebrated Tyrian 
purple. Kings and princes were clothed with this purple, Luke 
16: 19. Rev. 18: 12. 

The scarlet colour so called, first mentioned in Gen. 38. 28. 
and occurring frequently afterwards was very much admired. It 
was a different colour from the shell-fish purple, and was extract- 
ed from the insects or their eggs, found on a species of oak ; and 
thence in Hebrew it is called shift, which means a worm or in- 
sect. The cotton cloth was dipped into this colour twice ; hence 
the application of the Hebrew words *>2iti and ^:u5 nybin, twice- 
dyed. This colour is sometimes called ^jaSs, 2 Chron. 2: 14. 

3: 14. from the Persian word \\ ^ — > which is the origin of the 
French word carmoisin. 

The hyacinth or dark blue colour, FI^FI* was extracted from 
the cuttle-fish, which bears in Hebrew the same name with the 
colour itself, and was highly esteemed, especially among the As- 
syrians, Ezek. 23: 6. 


§ 120. THE TUNIC. 

Black colour was used for common wear, and particularly on 
occasions of mourning. 

Party-coloured cloths, d^OS n?.ri3 , were highly esteemed, Gen. 
37: 3, 23. 2 Sam. 13: 18. 

As far back as the time of Moses" we find, that cloths were em- 
broidered, sometimes with the coloured threads of cotton and linen, 
and sometimes with threads of gold. When the work was embroi- 
dered on both sides, the Hebrew word for fabrics of that kind ap- 
pears in the dual form, viz. trnEp 4 ") . Some of the passages in re- 
lation to embroiderers and embroidery are as follows, Exod. 25: 36. 
35: 35. Judg. 5: 30. Ps. 45: 9. Ezek. 16: 10. 

What the nature of that garment was, which is interdicted to 
the Hebrews in Lev. 19: 19. and Deut. 22: 11. is uncertain. It is 
said to be a mixed garment of wool and linen, but that does not 
decide the point. Josephus says, an opinion prevailed in his time, 
that the garments in question were embroidered ones, which be- 
longed to the priests, but the fact is, the law was universal, and in- 
terdicted them to priests, as well as to all others. Perhaps the 
warp was of wool and the woof of linen, a common mode of man- 
ufacturing in the East even to this day, according to the testimony 
of Aryda. The garments may have been interdicted to the He- 
brews on account of their being so common a dress among the 

§ 120. The Tunic. 

This was the most simple, and, as we may conjecture from 
that circumstance, the most ancient garment. It is a common ar- 
ticle of dress in the East to this day, and is called in Arabic 
ahram, dN'intt . It was a piece of cloth commonly linen, which 
encircled the whole body, was bound with a girdle, and descend- 
ed to the knees. It occurs in the Bible jirst, under the Hebrew 
word narD, afterwards, under the word JTVUftj which usually 
means a girdle. Those, who are clothed with a tunic merely, 
are sometimes said to be naked, Job 24: 7, 10. Is. 20: 2 — 4. Mic. 
1: 8. John 21: 7. As the fore-part of the tunic was liable to be 
elevated with the wind, the wearer had on also an under garment 
called in Hebrew d^oasft , which in the time of Moses reached 
only from the loins to the knees, Exod. 28: 42 ; but in progress of 

§ 121. THE GIRDLE. 


time it was extended down to the ankles. Moses in Exod. 28: 42. 
commands the priests to wear under garments of this description, 
on account of their convenience in performing the sacrifices. 
Hence it may be inferred, that they were not used by the people 
generally, which is found to be the state of the case at this day in 
various countries of the East. If Strabo in page 734 means to say, 
that the Persians wore three pair of them, he certainly speaks of a 
recent period in their history. Mention is made of an upper pair 
of this garment in Dan. 3: 21. called in Hebrew ^3^0 in Persian 

jl^b* shalvar, in Syriac V— r-* m Arabic Jty*- The orientals, 

whether clad in the garment in question or not, when they find 
it necessary to emit urine, seek an obscure place, and in a sitting 
posture discharge themselves upon the earth ; with the excep- 
tion that the meanest and lowest of the populace defile the walls. 
Hence the peculiar, proverbial expressions, which occur in 1 Sam. 
25: 22, 34, &c, are to be considered, as denoting the very lowest 
class of people. The tunic, which at first only covered the body, 
was extended afterwards up round the neck, was supplied with 
short sleeves, and eventually with long ones, covering the whole 
arm. At first it set close to the body, but was afterwards made loose 
and flowing. The Babylonians, Egyptians, and Persians were clad 
with another tunic externally to the one described, and commonly 
more precious, which we learn was worn also by the Jews, Matt. 
10: 10. Luke 9: 3. 

§ 121. The Girdle, "tfan . 

The tunic, when it was not girded, impeded the person who 
wore it in walking. Those, consequently, who perhaps at home 
were ungirded, went forth girded, 2 K. 4: 29. 9: 1. Is. 5: 27. Jer. 1: /7. 
1$. John 21: 7. Acts 12: 8. There were formerly and are to this 
day two sorts of girdles in Asia ; the one, a common one of leather, 
six inches broad and furnished with clasps, with which it is fasten- 
ed round the body, ^ojvrj degfiativfj, 2 K. 1:8. Matt. 3: 4. Mark 
1: 6; the other, a valuable one of cotton or flax, and sometimes 
indeed of silk or some embroidered fabric, a hand's breadth broad, 
and supplied likewise with clasps by which it was fastened over the 
fore-part of the body, Jer. 13: 1. The girdle was bound round 
the loins, whence the expressions, " The girdle of the loins, and 



gird up your loins," 1 K. 18: 46. Prov. 21: 17. Is. 11: 5. Jer. 1: 
17. The girdle worn by females, was sometimes ornamented 
with bosses ; they wore stomachers also for ornament, Hebrew 
b"VPr)D . The Arabians carry a knife or poniard in the girdle. 
This was the custom likewise among the Hebrews, 2 Sam. 20: 8 — 
10 ; a fact, which admits of confirmation from the ruins of Perse- 
polis. The girdle also answered the purpose of a pouch, to carry 
money and other necessary things, 1 Sam. 25: 13. 2 Sam. 18: 11. 
Matt. 10: 9. Mark 6: 8. 

§ 122. Of Upper Garments. 

The garment immediately over the tunic was denominated 
^rbfttfj, also Greek l^axiov; it was very simple, and of course 
we may suppose very ancient. It was a piece of cloth nearly 
square, of different sizes, five or six cubits long and five or six feet 
broad and was wrapped round the body. When the weather 
was serene, it was more conveniently worn over the shoulders 
than by being wrapped round the body. The two corners, 
which were drawn over the shoulders, were called the skirts, or 
as it is in the Hebrew, the wings of the garment, Hag. 2: 12. 
Zech. 8: 23. Frequently this garment was hung over the left 
shoulder, where it accordingly hung lengthwise, partly over the 
back and partly over the breast, and was fastened by the two 
corners under the right cheek. While it answered the purposes 
of a cloak, it was so large, that burdens, if necessary, might be 
carried in it, Exod. 12: 34. 2 K. 4: 39. The poor wrapped them- 
selves up wholly in this garment at night, spread their leathern 
girdle upon a rock and rested their head upon it, as is customary 
to this day in Asia. Moses, therefore, enacted as a law what had 
before existed as a custom, that the upper garment, when given 
as a pledge, should not be retained over night, Job 22: 6. 24: 
7. Exod. 22: 25, 26. Deut. 24 : 13. In the time of Christ the 
creditors did not take the upper garment or cloak, which it 
was not lawful for them to retain, but the coat or tunic, which 
agrees with the representation of Jesus in Matt. 5: 40. There 
having occurred an instance of the violation of the sabbath, Num. 
15: 32 — 41, Moses enacted a law, that there should be a fringe 
upon the four corners of this garment together with a blue rib- 
band, to remind the people of his statutes, Matt. 9: 20. Luke 8: 44. 



There were other upper garments worn among the Hebrews as 

I. ^273 , meil, a garment of cotton, which extended below the 
knees, open at the top so as to be drawn over the head, and having 
holes for the insertion of the arms. 

II. TICK , ephod. It consisted of two parts, the one of which 
was suspended over the back, the other over the forepart of the 
body, both pieces being united by a clasp or buckle on the should- 
ers. In the time of Josephus the ephod had sleeves, a circumstance 
which is not mentioned by Moses, Exod. 28: 6, 7. Joseph. Antiq. 
Bk. III. ch. 7. 5. According to the Mosaic law the ephod and 
meil were appropriately garments of the high priest, but we learn 
that they were sometimes worn by other illustrious men, Job 29: 
14. 1 Sam. 18: 4. 2 Sam. 6: 14. Ezek. 26: 16. We may infer from 
2 Sam. 6: 14. and 1 Chron. 15: 27. that na "riDN and ftt ^JPtt , 
[rendered in the English version, a linen ephod, and a fine linen 
robe,] were convertible expressions for the same thing ; still there 
is no doubt, that there were two kinds of ephods. 

III. Uh&Q , a hat or turban, as may be seen to this day on the 
ruins of Persepolis. Garments of fur appear to have been used in 
the East, although the climate was warm. We undoubtedly hear 
of them under the word rn^N . The phrase ^U) rnii* means 
a garment of hair, worn commonly by poor people and prophets, 
2K. 1: 8. 2: 8. 13: 14. Zech. 13: 4. Heb. 11: 37. There were 
certain garments of hair, which were precious and were worn by 
the rich and princes, Josh. 7: 21, 24. 1 K. 19: 13, 19. Jonah 3: 
6. The words "p-jo and oivdwv, though the same, signified differ- 
ent things ; was a precious tunic of cotton, Judg. 14: 12, 13, 
19. Prov. 31: 24. Is. 3: 23. but aovdcov was a sort of coverlet, un- 
der which the people slept at night, Mark 14: 51, 52. 15: 46. Luke 
23: 53. XXafivg is the name of a robe, common among the Greeks, 
which extended down to the knees, and was fastened over the 
breast, but the %kot[ivs KOMtlvrj, which is mentioned Matt. 27: 28. 
and Mark 15: 17. called in common speech nogcpvQu or the pur- 
ple, was a red robe of the Roman military, nearly of the same 
length with the Greek robe. The word ylaiivq is not to be collat- 
ed in this case with the Heb. tribi? , for the n^n ■'Elba mentioned 
in Ezek. 27: 24. were not Grecian robes, but blue cloths, brought 
from Arabia. The cloak, mentioned 2 Tim. 4: 13. in Greek yelo- 




vrjg or qpadovrjg, was a Roman garment, meant for protection 
against the rain, and to be worn on journies. It was closed 
throughout except an open neck, by which it was admitted over 
the head and supported on the shoulders. 

§ 123. Sandals and Shoes. 

At first in order to prevent the feet from being cut by sharp 
rocks, or burnt by the hot sand, or injured by pinching cold, small 
pieces of wood or leather were bound to the bottom of the feet. 
Sandals of this kind are still seen in the East ; afterwards shoes 
were made, and greaves, as may be seen on the ruins of Persepo- 
lis, and as is related by Strabo. Originally no covering of the 
foot was used at all, but sandals, D^bsa , oavdctXia, VTiodrji-iara ; 
which were bound round the feet with leather thongs, Tp"T£ , 
tftdvxeg, Gen. 14: 23. Exod. 12: 11. Is. 5: 27. Judith 10: 4. Matt. 
3: 11. 10: 10. Mark 1: 7. 6: 9. John 1: 27. These sandals were 
held at a very low price, Amos 2: 6. 8: 6. Matrons sometimes 
wore elegant ones, Judith 10: 3. 16: 11. How precious the 
sandal was, mentioned in Ezek. 16: 10. of badger's skin, is not clear. 
The people put off their sandals when they entered a house, and 
put them on when they left it. Whence the phrases, to loose one's 
sandals from off his feet, &c. Exod. 3: 5. Deut. 25: 9. Is. 20: 4. 
Ruth 4: 7, 8. Ezek. 24: 7. To loose and to bind on sandals was 
the business of the lowest servants. Disciples performed this of- 
fice, however, for their teachers ; but the Rabbins advised them 
not to do it before strangers, lest they should be mistaken for ser- 
vants. The business of a servant recently purchased was to loose 
and carry about his master's sandals ; whence the expressions 
in Mark 1: 7. and Matt. 3: 11. to " loose one's shoes," and " to bear 
them" are proverbial and mean the same thing. As the wearers did 
not have on stockings, their feet became dusty and soiled ; accord- 
ingly when they had laid aside their sandals and entered a house, 
they washed their feet ; which also was the office of the lowest ser- 
vants. In some instances where the guests were very distinguished 
men, the master of the family performed this office, Gen. 18: 4. 
Luke 7: 44. The poor sometimes went barefoot ; the more rich 
and honoured never, except in case of mourning, 2 Sam. 15: 30. 
Jer. 2: 25. In contracts the seller gave his sandals to the buyer 

§ 125. OF THE HAIR. 


in confirmation of the bargain. Hence, " a man without sandals" 
became proverbial expressions, implying the reproach of prodigality, 
Deut. 25: 9. Ruth 4: 7. 

§ 124. The Beard, 

The beard was considered a great ornament among the He- 
brews, as it is to this day, among oriental nations. No one was 
allowed to touch it except for the purpose of kissing it. To 
pluck or to shave the beard, or to mar it any way, was consider- 
ed a great disgrace, 1 Chron. 19: 3 — 5. 2 Sam. 10: 4 — 10. Hence 
the beard is used tropically for the distinguished men of any peo- 
ple, and the shaving of the beard was considered a mark, and us- 
ed tropically as a representation of servitude, Is. 7: 20. The 
beard was preserved in different ways by different people, 2 Sam. 
19: 24. The Hebrews alone were forbidden to shave the beard, 
i. e. as the phrase is to be interpreted, to round the corners of 
the beard where it joins the hair of the head, Lev. 19:27 ; because 
the Arabian tribes by shaving off or rather rounding the beard, 
where it connects with the hair of the head, devoted themselves 
to a certain deity, who held the place among them, that Bacchus 
did among the Greeks. Herod, III. 8. Jer. 9: 26. 25: 23. 49: 32. 
To pull out or cut off the beard was an indication of great grief, 
and mourning ; every ornament whatever at such a time being laid 
aside. This, however, must be done by the person himself. If a 
stranger should undertake to pull out his beard, it would be the 
greatest insult. 

§ 125. Of the Hair, ^tstfp. 

Anciently the Egyptians alone, and some of the Arabians were in 
the habit of shaving their beards ; the Hebrews and other nations 
let them grow. Sometimes indeed they applied the razor, with 
the exception of the Nazarites, to whom shaving was absolutely 
interdicted, Num. 6: 5. Judg. 13: 7. 16: 17. 1 Sam. 1: 11. 2 Sam. 
14: 26. Is. 7: 20. Ezek. 5: 1. Baldness was a source of contempt, 
2 K. 2: 23 ; a heavy head of hair was esteemed a great ornament, 
2 Sam. 14: 26. Cant. 5: 11 ; the hair was combed and set in order, 
Is. 3: 24. and anointed, especially on festival occasions, Ps. 23: 5. 
92: 10. 133: 2. 2 Sam. 14: 2. Ruth 3: 3. Prov. 21: 17. The oint- 
ment used was the very precious oil of olives, mixed with spices, 



particularly spikenard, which was brought from India, but was 
commonly adulterated. The spikenard, mentioned Mark 14: 3, 
vagdog moTixrj, seems to have been pure. The colour of the hair 
of the people of the East, is commonly black, rarely red, which 
was esteemed a favourite colour. Females, as is commonly the 
case, let the hair grow long, Luke 7: 38. 1 Cor. 11: 6 — 12. and 
braided it, Num. 5: 18. Judith 10: 3. 1 Peter 3: 3 ; which is clear 
also from the Talmud. They interwove into their hair gems and 
gold, 2 K. 9: 30. 

§ 126. Coverings for the Head. 

At first the hair of the head was its only covering. To pre- 
vent its being dishevelled by the wind, it was at length bound 
round the head by a fillet, as is now customary among the servants 
in the East, and as may be seen on the ruins of Persepolis. Sub- 
sequently a piece of cloth was worn upon the head, which was 
afterwards converted into mitres of different forms. There were 
two kinds of mitres among the ancients ; the one mentioned in 
Esther 8: 15. of fine linen, purple in colour, and enriched with 
gold ; the other resembled a triangle in form, being pointed at 
the top, though not always made in the same way ; it is denomi- 
nated in Dan. 3: 21, fi&a^S and in the Greek nvg^aaig and xvg- 
(3ao!a. Josephus speaks of a piece of cloth, which was rolled 
round the head exterior to the mitre, Antiq. Bk. III. ch. 7. § 3. and 
7 ; but of this article of head-dress it is not clear, that there is any 
express mention made in Scripture. We must suppose, therefore, 
it was introduced at a late period, certainly after the captivity. 
The Hebrew word Sp322 was applied to the mitres in common 
use worn by both sexes ; the word ir^tt to the mitres of priests, 
which were of greater height, Exod. 28:" 40. 29:9. 39:28. The 
mitre of the high priest, called nsp.Stt , was distinguished from that 
of the priests by a plate of gold bound in front of it. The mitres 
worn by princes and illustrious men, were the same with those of 
the priests and the high priests, Exod. 28: 4, 37. 29: 6. 39: 31 . Lev. 
8: 9. 16: 4. In the progress of time new and more elegant head- 
dresses, called nfi$S> , were introduced, and were common to both 
sexes. The phrase i-ntfBn m^H and the word rn'VBli: mean a 
head dress or turban of much splendour ; the words *\V3 and 

§ 127. OF THE VEIL. 


mean a diadem, and not a mitre. Both men and women, as is 
now common in the East, remained with their heads covered both 
at prayers and in the temple. . 

§ 127. Op the Veil. 

The difference between the dress of the men and the women 
was small. It consisted chiefly in the fineness of the materials and 
in the length of the garment. The dress of the hair in the two 
sexes was different, as already observed, and another mark of 
distinction was, that the women wore a veil. This distinction of 
dress, small as it was, was the ground of the command, prohib- 
iting the assumption by one sex of the dress, which was appro- 
priate to the other, Deut. 22: 5. All females, excepting maid- 
servants and others in a low condition in life, wore the veil, nor 
did they ever lay it aside, except in the presence of servants and 
those relations, with whom nuptials were interdicted, Lev. xviii. 
comp. Koran 24: 34. 33: 54. This custom in regard to the veil 
still prevails in the East. When journeying, the ladies threw the 
veil over the hinder part of the head, but if they saw a man ap- 
proaching they restored it to its original position, Gen. 24: 65. 
When at home they did not speak with a guest, without being 
veiled and in the presence of maids. They never entered the 
guest's chamber, but standing at the door, made known to the ser- 
vant what they wanted, 2 K. 4: 13. This is observed to be the 
case in Homer. It scarcely needs to be observed, that prostitutes 
went unveiled. Tamar, who was one of that class, assumed a veil 
merely for the purpose of concealing herself from her father in 
law Judah. The position, which some maintain from Gen 20: 
16. viz. that virgins did not wear the veil, is not clear from that 
passage and is the less so, when the fact is taken into considera- 
tion, that the custom of modern orientals is an evidence, that they 
did. In Asia there are various kinds of veils in use, which cor- 
respond with those mentioned in the Bible. Like the matrons of 
the East at the present day, those of antiquity used veils of four 

I. V"p . It somewhat resembled the hood of the French coun- 
try women, covering the top of the head and extending down behind 
the back, Cant. 5: 7. Is. 3: 23. 



II. FB££. This covered the breast, neck, and chin to the nose, 
Cant. 4: l' 3. 6: 7. Is. 47: 2. 

III. ffcan . It hung down from the eyes over the face, [called 
in the English version mufflers,] Is. 3: 19. 

IV. The fourth kind of veil received different names, viz. 
riSESE for the fashion of the winter, and nnstttt for that of the 
summer. It covered the whole body from the top of the head to 
the sole of the foot, Is. 3: 22. Ruth 3: 15. Gen. 38: 14. 

V. PP$£, or the double veil, in as much as it fulfilled the office 
of two other veils, covering the top of the head, and falling down 
both behind and before. It was so large, that in many countries 
the matrons who wore it dispensed with any other. 

VI. D^D^U) , a thin gauze-like fabric, [denominated in the 
English version a caul,] which was used as a veil, comp. the cor- 
responding Arabic. The phrase, fi^P:? niD3 , Gen. 20: 16. prob- 
ably does not mean a veil ; perhaps the reading as Michaelis con- 
jectures, should be d'J^ > tnat * s > tne ^ ne or punishment of 
the eyes, viz. of Abimelecli. What sort of a veil it is, called in the 
Greek of the New Testament invoice inl Ttjg xecpaXrjg, is not 
known, 1 Cor. 11: 10. 

§ 128. Staff, Seal, and Rings. 

The Hebrews bore a staff, Sitttt , £>B73 , &c. not only the traveller, 
as a help to him on his journey, but others also, who, like the Baby- 
lonians, must necessarily have carried one merely for ornament, 
and not for any positive benefit, Exod. 12: 11. Gen. 38: 18, 25. 
The Hebrews wore also in imitation of the Babylonians a seal 
or signet, nnin , which was suspended from the neck over the 
breast, Gen. 38: 18. Cant. 8: 6. Hag. 2: 23. Sometimes merely 
the name of the owner, and sometimes an additional sentence was 
engraved upon the signet. If a door or box was to be sealed, it 
was first fastened with some ligament, over which was placed 
some clay or wax, which then received an impression from the 
seal or signet. Frequently a ring, with some inscription upon it, 
was used as a seal, by a delivery or transfer of which, from a mon- 
arch, the highest offices of the kingdom were created, Gen. 41: 
42. Est. 3: 10, 12. 8: 2. Jer. 22: 24. Dan. 6: 10. 13: 17. Rings, 
from the circumstance of their being employed for the same purpose 
as seals, were called niS^D , which is derived from a verb, signify- 



ing to imprint, and also to seal ; they were worn commonly as an 
ornament on a finger of the right hand, Is. 22: 24. Exod. 35: 22. 
Luke 15: 22. James 2: 2. 

§ 129. Ladies' Rings and Pendants, rnSSD, tP53j3. 

The ladies wore a number of rings upon their fingers, also 
pendants in the ear and nose, Gen. 24: 22. Exod. 32: 2, 3. 35: 22. 
Is. 3: 21. Ezek. 16: 12. The rings were made of silver, gold, or 
other metal according to the person's property; the pendants, also, 
which sometimes, however, consisted of pearls merely, suspended 
by a thread. When the pendants were of gold, they were denom- 
inated t»ft3, when of precious stones, rrtBHjS , Num. 31: 50. Ezek. 
16: 12. Ear-pendants may be seen sculptured out on the ruins of 
Persepolis, for they were worn by men as well as women, among 
other nations. But this was not often the case among the He- 
brews, Pliny II. 50. Judg. 8: 24. The women also wore rings 
of silver and gold and other materials around the ankles, Hebrew 
E^tp? . The rings of the two ankles were sometimes connected 
with each other by a chain, called rni^SZ ; perhaps the chain was 
comprehended also under the name above given for the rings, 
Is. 3: 18. 

§ 130. Necklaces, Bracelets, etc. 

The dress of the ladies in the East was always expensive, Gen. 
24: 22, 23, 53. Num. 31: 50. Is. 3: 16—26. Ezek. 16: 10. et seq. 
They wear at the present day, as formerly, not only rings and 
pendants, but necklaces, bracelets, &c. These ornaments were 
worn also in some cases by distinguished men, as a present from 
the monarch, as may be seen on the Persepolitan figures, Gen. 41: 
42. Prov. 3: 3, 22. 6: 21. Cant. 1 : 11. Dan. 5: 7. Necklaces 
and bracelets were made, sometimes of silver and gold, sometimes 
of a series of Jewels, sometimes of coral, ti^PSS, Num. 31: 50. 
Exod. 35: 22. Three necklaces were commonly worn, one reach- 
ing lower than the other ; from the one, that was suspended to 
the waist, there was hung a bottle of perfume, filled with amber 
and musk, called in Is. 3: 20. ttiso "^Ffi. Half-moons also of silver 
and gold were suspended in This way, as may be inferred from the 


144 § 133. PURSE AND NAPKIN. 

5 c ✓ 

word troHfiip itself comp. q With these the Arabians or- 
namented the necks of their camels, Is. 3: 18. Judg. 8: 21, 26. 

§ 131. Amulets, rnDtt'nt:. 

The orientals from the earliest ages have believed in the in- 
fluence of the stars, in incantations, and other magic arts. To 
defend themselves against them, they wore amulets, which con- 
sisted of precious stones, gems, gold, and sometimes of pieces of 
parchment, written over with some inscription. The small gold 
effigies of serpents, truihb, which the Hebrew women carried 
about in their hands were amulets, and like the others, while they 
served to keep off incantations, served none the less for ornament, 
Is. 3: 20. Exod. 38: 8. 

§ 132. Mirrors, rnanft, "Wj. 

Mirrors were made of molten brass polished; hence they 
were called or shining. In Job 37: 18, the heavens are 

compared to a molten mirror. The ladies carried their mirrors in 
their hands. Their chambers were not ornamented with them, 
but the chamber doors latterly were made of a polished stone, in 
which objects might be obscurely seen, 1 Cor. 13: 12. 

§ 133. Purse and Napkin. 

A man's girdle fulfilled for him all the purposes of a purse. 
The purse of a lady, which was made of solid metal, sometimes 
of pure gold, and fashioned like a cone with a border of rich cloth 
at the top, was suspended from the girdle which she wore ; these 
purses were called in Hebrew HHy^h, Is. 3: 22. 2 K. 5 : 23. 
Both sexes either wore napkins attached to their girdle, or bore 
them upon the hand or left arm : those of the rich and powerful were 
valuable and ornamented with embroidery. They were frequently 
employed to carry things in, and were wrapped around the heads of 
those who had departed from life, Luke 19: 20. John 11: 44. The 
aprons so called in Acts 19: 12. were a sort of napkin, which were 
placed round the neck for the purpose of receiving the sweat. 



§ 134. Painting and Branding or Sealing. 

Various kinds of painting have been practised by all nations in 

all ages.' It is our object, however, at the present time, only to 

speak of that mode of painting, which in the Bible is denominated 
5 c J 

•p© , and in the Arabic Vsri) . The principal material used in 
this mode of painting, the object of which is to communicate a 
dark tint to the eyebrows, is a sort of black lead, which is found 
to be used throughout all the East as far as India. It is applied to 
the eyebrows by a silver instrument, so as to give them the appear- 
ance of being very long, which is esteemed a great ornament, 
2 K. 9: 30. Jer. 4: 30. Ezek. 23: 40. The paint, which is pre- 
pared from the ashes of the plant Alkanet, and which is used by 
oriental matrons to communicate a yellow colour to the arms and 
feet, and a tint of redness to the nails, though very ancient, is not 
mentioned in the Bible ; a mere allusion to it occurs in Jer. 2: 22, 
under the word EPD3 . The red paint in use among the Roman 
matrons, which was spread upon the idols on festival days, is men- 
tioned in the book of Wisdom, 13: 14. A custom, which prevailed 
in the East anciently, and which is connected with this subject, 
has been perpetuated in that region even to our day ; viz. that 
whoever visited a temple should either devote himself to some 
god, or brand the image of the temple or the name of the god on 
his right arm. This custom as far as concerned the Hebrews was 
interdicted in Lev. 19:28. but the words ■ branding/ ' marking,' and 
'sealing,' frequently occur with a tropical signification, Gal. 6: 17. 
Ephes..l: 13. Rev. 7: 4, 8. 14: 1—5. 13: 17, 18. Ezek. 9: 2—12. 

§ 135. Dress at festivals and on Occasions of Mourning. 

The festival dress was very splendid, it was white, and as of- 
ten as the festival returned, was newly washed and perfumed with 
myrrh, cassia, and aloes, Gen. 27: 27. Ps. 45: 8. Cant. 4: 11. It was 
worn on the festivals of the family, of the state, and of religion, 
but when the festival was over, it was laid aside. The splendid 
garments of festivals were denominated in Hebrew tl\tlt^ IrflqSa , 
'iiyp "^tl , &c. Vast expense was bestowed upon them both as 
respected their quality and number, 2K. 5: 5. Matt. 10: 10. James 



5 : 2. The mourning dress, Hebrew pfcr or sackcloth, is well 
known. It was in truth a sack, which was thrown over the person 
and extended down to the knees, but which, nevertheless, had arm- 
holes for the admission of the arms. It derives its name from the 

Arabic verb, to tear asunder, because in the moment of the 

person's grief it was torn from the neck down to the breast, and 
sometimes as far as the girdle. The materials were a coarse dark 
cloth of goat's hair, Job 16: 15. Jonah 3: 5. 

Note. In the book of Leviticus, 13: 47 — 59. we are informed 
of the leprosy of garments in the following terms ; " the garment al- 
so, that the plague of leprosy is in, xohether it be a woollen garment 
or a linen garment, whether it be in the warp or woof, whether in a 
skin, or any thing made of skin" &c. The marks or indications of 
the existence and nature of this leprosy are also stated with some 
particularity in the verses referred to. What this plague, as it is 
termed, was, it is difficult to state with much certainty, since the 
conjectures, which the learned have hazarded in regard to it, are 
by no means satisfactory. Without doubt the Hebrews had ob- 
served certain destructive effects wrought upon clothing, whether 
made of wool and cotton, or leather, and not understanding their 
origin or their nature, they choose to call them from certain re- 
semblances as much apparent as real, the corroding plague or 
leprosy, rntftttt nans . Altogether the most probable conjecture 
in regard to these effects is, that they were merely the depredations 
of certain little insects, which could not be seen by the naked eye. 
The Hebrews without doubt, considered the clothes' leprosy, as they 
termed it, contagious, and consequently a serious and fearful evil. 
This opinion was the ground of the rigid laws, which are laid down 
in respect to it in Leviticus 12: 47 — 59. 





§ 136. Of Food in general. 

At first, men lived upon the fruits of trees, upon herbs, roots, 
and seeds, and whatever else they could find in the vegetable king- 
dom, that might conduce to the support of life, all which was ex- 
pressed in Hebrew by the word Eftb, in the broadest sense of the word, 
Gen. 1: 29. 2: 16. Afterwards a method was invented to bruise 
grain, and to reduce it to a mass, to ferment it, and bake it, and 
thus to make bread, which is also expressed by fihb, in the more 
limited sense of the word. Still later, not only water, but milk, 
oil, and honey, were mingled with the meal, and bread was made 
of a richer and more valuable kind. Even so early as the time of 
Abraham, the art of preparing bread was carried to some degree of 
perfection. Before the deluge the flesh of animals was convert- 
ed into food, as may be inferred from the division of animals into 
clean and unclean, Gen. 7: 2, 8 ; after the deluge animals are ex- 
pressly mentioned, as being slain for food, Gen. 9: 8 — 6. But 
meat is not so palatable and nutritious in warm climates as in others, 
and fruits, consequently, bread, olives, and milk, are the customary 

§ 137. Preparation of Food by Fire. 

Originally food of every kind was eaten without being cooked, 
because there was no fire. If there had been fire, it would have 
been of no consequence in this case, seeing that its use in the 
preparation of food was unknown. Men were undoubtedly taught 
by chance to roast flesh and eventually to boil it. It was found 
so much more agreeable, when prepared in this way, that men 
were careful not to let the fire, which they had now found, be- 
come extinguished. Their method of obtaining fire was, to elicit 
sparks by the collision of stone and flint, or by the friction of pie- 

148 § 138. OF MILLS. 

ces of wood, and afterwards to excite a blaze. This method of 
obtaining fire was very ancient, as we may learn from the etymolo- 
gy of the word tV%f> , Is. 50: 11. 64: 1. 

§ 138. Of Mills. 

Corn was eaten at first without any preparation of it at all ; the 
custom of thus eating it had not gone into total desuetude in the 
time of Christ, Matt. 12: 1. Levit. 2: 12. Deut. 23: 25. After the 
uses of fire were known, it was parched. Parching it became so 
common, that the words ^ , ( and iObj? , which properly mean 
parched, mean also corn or meal, 2 Sam. 17: 28. Lev. 2: 12, 14. 
Ruth 2: 14, 18. Some, who found a difficulty in mastication, broke 
to pieces the kernels of corn with stones or pieces of wood ; this 
suggested the idea of mortars, and eventually of mills. The mor- 
tar, nil *V2 , 'iiFpa , was used in the time of Moses for bruising corn, 
also the mill, "prta , Num. 11: 8. Fine meal, i. e. corn or grain 
ground or beaten fine, is spoken of as far back as the time of Abra- 
ham, Gen. 18: 6 ; hence mills and mortars must have been known 
before his time. The mill common among the Hebrews, scarce- 
ly differed at all from that, which is used at this day in Egypt and 
the East. It consisted of two circular stones, two feet in diame- 
ter and half a foot thick. The lower one was called "'Hifrft and 
nbs , Deut. 24: 6. Job 41: 15, 16 ; it exhibited a slight rise or ele- 
vation on the centre, and was fixed in the floor. The upper one 
was called , Judg. 9: 53 ; was moveable, and in order to make 
it fit precisely to the nether one, was slightly hollowed. In the 
middle of it was a hole, through which the corn to be ground was 
admitted. The upper stone had a handle attached to it, by which 
it was moved upon the lower, and the corn and grain were in 
this way broken. There were sieves attached to the mill, which 
separated the flour from the bran ; the bran was put into the 
mill again and ground over. The sieves were made of reeds ; 
those made of horse hair were a later invention, not earlier than the 
time of Pliny. 



§ 139. Grinding. 

Since there were neither public mills nor bakers, except the 
king's, Gen. 40: 2. Hos. 7: 4 — 10. each one by consequence owned 
a mill himself; hence it was made an infringement of the law, for 
a person to take another's mill or millstone, as a pledge, Deut. 24: 6. 
for without his mill there being no public ones, he would have 
been in a bad situation. At first barley alone was ground, but af- 
terwards wheat more commonly, as the poor alone used barley. 
Barley bread answers better in the warm climate of the East, than 
among us. On the second day it becomes insipid and rough to the 
palate ; and this is the case also in warm climates with wheat 
bread. Hence the necessity of baking every day, and hence also 
the daily grinding at the mills about evening. The sound of the 
millstones, probably at this time, is spoken of by the prophet, Jer. 
25: 10. The mill was commonly turned by two persons, the low- 
est maid-servants. They sat opposite to each other, facing, the 
one on one side, the other on the other side. One took hold of 
the mill handle and impelled it half way round ; the other then 
seized it and completed its revolution, Exod. 11: 5. Job 31: 10, 11. 
Is. 47: 2. Matt. 24: 41. The labour was severe and menial ; fre- 
quently enemies, taken in war, were condemned to perform it, 
Judg. 16: 21. Lam. 5: 13. 

§ 140. Baking Bread in an Oven. 

The business of baking was performed anciently by women, 
however high their stations, Gen. 18: 6. Lev. 26: 26. 2 Sam. 13: 
6, 8. Jer. 7: 18, 19. When luxury afterwards prevailed among 
them, the matrons and their daughters gave it up to their maids, 
1 Sam. 8: 13. These maids were so numerous in the palace of 
David, that a portion of bread, etc. was distributed to them, the 
same as to a large multitude of men, 2 Sam. 6: 19. In Egypt 
there were king's bakers very early ; they make their appear- 
ance in Palestine also, but at a much later period, Hos. 7: 4 — 7. 
Jer. 37: 21. 

Kneading troughs were a sort of wooden trays, in which the 
flour, being mingled with water, was reduced to a solid mass, and 



after remaining a little time, was kneaded, some leaven being add- 
ed to it, Exod. 12: 34. Deut. 28: 5, 17. In case it was necessary to 
prepare the bread very hastily, the leaven was left out, Gen. 18: 6. 
19: 3. Judg. 6: 19. 1 K. 17: 12. Exod. 12: 15, 34. 13: 3, 7. Lev. 
2: 11. Deut. 16: 3. Amos 4: 5. The cakes when made were round, 
tifib 'tYi1S0 9 Judg. 8: 5. and nine or ten inches in diameter. The 
unleavened cakes were not thicker than a knife, but the leavened 
were as thick as a man's little finger. The bread was not cut with 
a knife but broken, Hebrew DnD , Is. 58: 7. Lam. 4: 4. Matt. 14: 
19. 15: 36. 26: 26. Of ovens or places for baking there are four 
kinds ; 

I. The mere sand, heated by a fire, which was subsequently 
removed. The raw cakes were placed upon it ; in a little while 
they were turned, and afterwards, to complete the process, were 
covered with warm ashes and coals. Unless they were turned, they 
were not thoroughly baked. This explains Hos. 7: 8. The ashes 
or coal-baked cakes so called, Hebrew rnas? , were prepared in this 
way, Gen. 18: 6. 19: 3. 1 K. 19: 6. 

II. The second sort of oven was an excavation in the earth, 
two and a half feet in diameter, of different depths from five to 
six feet, as we may suppose from those which still exist in Persia. 
This sort of oven occurs under the word C'VS , and in Lev. 11: 
35. is mentioned in connexion with the word l^n . The bottom 
is paved with stones ; when the oven is sufficiently warmed, the 
fire is taken away, the cakes are placed upon the warm stones, 
and the mouth of the oven is shut. 

III. A moveable oven, called IISF), which was besmeared 
within and without with clay, being constructed of brick. A fire 
was kindled within it, and the dough was placed upon the side, 
where it baked, and was called, ^nsni nEtfft , Lev. 2: 4. 

IV. A plate of iron, placed upon three stones ; the fire was 
kindled beneath it, and the raw cakes placed on the upper sur- 
face. The cake baked in this way is perhaps the rDWft, men- 
tioned in Lev. 2: 5. 6: 14. Not only leavened, and unleavened cakes 
were baked in these ovens, but other kinds, which it is not neces- 
sary to mention. We shall have to pass by the rest of the culinary 




Cooking, btB2 , was done by the matron of the family, unless, 
when intent on the adorning of her person, she thought proper 
to commit it to the maid. Vegetables, lentils especially, which 
are greatly esteemed even to this day among the Orientals, were 
the/principal food, Gen. 25: 30, 34 ; cakes also mixed with honey, 
were frequently used, Ezek. 1G: 13. Flesh was not served up, 
except when a stranger was present, and on the occasion of a 
feast, Gen. 18: 7. Deut. 15: 20. Luke 15: 23. The orientals at 
the present day are very sparing in the use of flesh ; too long an 
abstinence from it, however, produces a great appetite for it, and 
generates a disease also, which is known among the Arabians un- 

der the word |*y-3, Num. 11: 4, 12. As luxury increased, the 
flesh of animals began to be more used for food ; venison and the 
meat of the " fatted calf" were peculiarly esteemed, also of fat- 
ted oxen, Gen. IS: 7. 41: 2. 1 Sam. 16: 20. 28: 24. 2 Sam. 6: 13. 
The flesh of the sheep and goat kind, particularly of lambs and 
kids, were esteemed the choicest dish of any, and it was for the es- 
timation in which they were held on this account, that they were 
so much used in sacrifices. In the most ancient ages the animal 
to be slain was taken by the master of the family himself, although 
he were*a prince, and was slain. The cooking also was done by 
his wife, though she were a princess, Gen. 18: 2 — 6. Judg. 6: 19. 
The process of cooking seems to have been very expeditiously 
performed, Gen. 27: 3, 4, 9, 10. All the flesh of the slain ani- 
mal, owing to the difficulty of preserving it in a warm climate un- 
corrupted,?was commonly cooked at once. This is the custom at 
the present day, although the art of drying and preserving it by 
the sun is known among the Nomades. The flesh when cooked, 
was divided into small pieces, and a sauce was prepared for it of 
broth and vegetables, in Hebrew p*JJ3 , Judg. 6: 19, 20. Is. 65: 4. 


§ 142. OF ROASTING. 

§ 142. Of Roasting, tiDN. 

Roasting was the earliest- method of preparing the flesh of an- 
imals ; it seems to have been discovered at first by chance, as al- 
ready observed, and became in time a favourite method of cook- 
ing. The Nomades of the present day, following a very ancient 
custom, divide the flesh to be roasted into small pieces, salt it, 
and fix it upon a wooden spit. They turn one part of it to the 
fire, and when this is roasted, turn the other. Fowls are roasted 
whole on a spit, which revolves in two or more crotched sticks, 
placed in the ground on each side of the fire. When sheep and 
lambs are to be roasted whole, they thrust a sharp stick through 
from the tail to the head of the animal, another transversely through 
the forefeet, and roast it in the oven described in section 140. No. 
II. ; which mode of roasting is expressed in Arabic by the verb 

meaning to crucify. In the countries of the East, locusts 
are frequently roasted for the use of the common people. Their 
wings and feet are taken off and their intestines extracted ; they 
are salted, fixed upon a sharp piece of wood, placed over the 
fire and at length eaten. They are likewise prepared by boiling 
them. In summer they are dried and ground, and bread is made 
of them. Sometimes they are salted and preserved in bottles, 
and as occasion requires, are cut in pieces and eaten, Lev. 11: 22. 
Matt. 3: 4. Some species of locusts are esteemed noxious and 
are, therefore, reckoned among the unclean animals, Lev. 11: 22. 
The Heb. word, D^iB, [rendered in the English version quails,] 
is not to be regarded as a name for any species of locusts for ibtp 
is to this day in the East the name of a migratory bird of the quail 
kind. They come over the waters of the ocean, and being weary 
descend in great numbers on Arabia Petrea, so as to be easily tak- 
en by the hands, Diod. Sic. I. 61. Niebuhr's Travels, Part I. p. 
176. The flesh of these birds is less esteemed on account of their 
living in a measure upon grasshoppers, Num. 11: 32. 

Note. The use of salt is very ancient, see Num. 18: 19, com- 
pared with 2 Chron. 13: 5. In Exod. 30: 35, a kind of salt called 
pure salt is distinguished from common salt. Among the orientals 



salt is the symbol of inviolable friendship ; a covenant of salt, ac- 
cordingly, means an everlasting or perpetual covenant. It is used 
tropically for wisdom, and for preservation, Mark 9: 49, 50. Coloss. 
4: 6. and salt that has lost its savour, on the contrary, for folly, 
Matt. 5: 13. 

§ 143. Interdicted Food. 

Some sorts of food were interdicted to the Hebrews ; some an- 
imals being unclean according to the Mosaic law, such, for in- 
stance, as were actually unpalatable and noxious, or were esteemed 
so ; others being set apart for the altar, certain parts of which it 
was consequently not lawful to eat. The object of interdicting 
so many sorts of food was to prevent the Hebrews from eating 
with the Gentiles, or frequenting their idolatrous feasts, by means 
of which they might and probably would have been seduced to 
idolatry. They are reckoned unclean. 

I. Quadrupeds, which do not ruminate, or have cloven feet. 

II. Serpents, and creeping insects ; also certain insects which 
sometimes fly and sometimes advance upon their feet. 

III. Certain species of birds, many of the names of which are 

IV. Fishes without scales ; also those without fins. 

V. All food, all liquids standing in a vessel, and all wet seed, 
into which the dead body of any unclean insect had fallen. Wa- 
ter in cisterns, wells, and fountains could not be contaminated in 
this way, Lev. 11: 1—38. 

VI. All food and liquids, which stood in the tent or chamber 
of a dying or dead man, remaining meanwhile in an uncovered 
vessel, Num. 19: 15. 

VII. Every thing which wa3 consecrated by any one to idols 
or gods, Exod. 34: 15. It was this prohibition which in the primi- 
tive church occasioned certain dissensions, which Paul frequently 
remarks upon, especially in 1 Cor. 8: 10. 

VIII. The kid boiled in the milk of its mother, Exod. 23: 19. 
34: 26. Deut 14: 21. The reason of this law is somewhat obscure. 

.Whether there was some superstition on the subject, or whether 
it was meant as a lesson on humanity to animals, or whether it is 
to be understood as a tacit commendation of oil in preference to 


§ 144. BEVERAGE. 

butter and milk, is not clear. The consecrated animal substance 
which it was not lawful to eat, was 

I. Blood, Lev. 3: 9, 10, 17. 7: 26, 27. 17: 10—14. 19: 26. 
Deut. 12: 16, 23, 25. 15: 23.* 

II. An animal which died of itself, or was torn to pieces by 
wild beasts, in as much as the blood remained in the body, Exod. 
22: 31. Deut. 14: 21. 

III. The fat covering the intestines, the large lobe of the liver, 
the kidneys and the fat upon them, Exod. 29: 13,22. Lev. 3: 4, 10, 
15. 4: 9. 9: 10, 19 ; also the fat tail of a certain class of sheep, in 
Heb. n^N , Exod. 19: 22. Lev. 3: 9. 7: 3. 8: 26. 9: 19 ; all of 
which were devoted and set apart for the altar. The Hebrews ab- 
stained also from the haunches of animals ; the later Jews extended 
this abstinence to the whole hind quarter. The custom originated 
from the account given in Gen. 32: 25, 32. 

§ 144. Beverage. 

The commonalty among the Mohammedans drink water ; the 
rich and noble drink a beverage called sherbet, which was for- 
merly used only in Egypt, Gen. 40: 11. where ale or beer, £v&og , 
olvog xgidivoQ, was also used, though probably not so far back 
as the time of Moses. The orientals frequently used wine to such 
an extent as to occasion ebriety, from which circumstance many 
tropes are drawn. Is 5: 11—22. 28: 1—11. 49:26. Jer. 8: 14. 9: 14. 
16: 48. Deut. 32: 42. Ps. 78: 65. etc. Wine, although in Eastern 
climates it is very rich, was at times mixed with spices, espe- 
cially myrrh, and this mixture was sometimes denominated from a 
Hebrew word, which signifies mixed. But the word in question, 
viz. b^lnft , for the most part, means a wine diluted with water, 
which was given to the buyer instead of good wine, and was con- 
sequently used tropically for any kind of adulteration, Is. 1: 22. 2 
Cor. 2: 17. Wine in the East was frequently diluted after it was 
bought, as we may infer from the fact, that two Arabic verbs 
still remain which indicate the dilution of this beverage. The 

words are, jgssim* a °d ItJdS . There is a sort of wine called 
, oiKtgci, or strong drink. It was made of dates, and of vari- 
ous sorts of seeds and roots, and was sufficiently powerful at any 


rate to occasion intoxication. It was drunk, mixed with water. 
From the pure wine and sikera, there was made an artificial drink, 
yftft which was taken at meals with vegetables and bread, Ruth 
2: 14. It was also a common drink, Num. 6: 3. and was used by 
the Roman soldiers, Matt. 27: 48. Further, there is a wine called 
by the Talmudists vinegar, whence the passage in Matt. 27: 34. may 
be explained. The vessels used for drinking were at first horns ; 
but the Hebrews used horns only for the purpose of performing 
the ceremony of anointing. The other drinking vessels were, 

I. A cup of brass covered with tin, in form resembling a 
lily, though sometimes circular ; it is used by travellers to this 
day, and may be seen in both shapes on the ruins of Persepolis, 
comp. 1 K. 7: 26. 

II. The bowl, Hebrew jpaj . It resembled a lily, Exod. 25: 
33 ; although it seems to have varied in form, for it had many 
names, as oi3, "123 , rttiaj^'. Those called, , nil^p, miDj?, 
had no cover, and probably were of a circular form, as the names 
seem to indicate. The bowls of this kind, which belonged to the 
rich were, in the time of Moses, made of silver and gold, as appears 
from Num. 7: 12—83. comp. 1 K. 10: 21. The larger vessels, 
from which wine was poured out into cups, were called urns, 
hi *$2», bottles, fiftrr, riJaW, bS3 ; small bottles, "*>*r; and a 
bottle of shell, ^3 , with a small orifice. 

§ 145. The Time and Circumstances of taking Refreshment. 

Not only the inhabitants of the East, generally, but the Greeks 
and Romans also, were in the habit of taking a slight dinner about 
ten or eleven o'clock of our time, which consisted chiefly of fruits, 
milk, cheese, etc. Their principal meal was about six or seven in 
the afternoon ; their feasts were always appointed at supper-time, 
for the burning heat of noon in Eastern climates diminishes the 
appetite for food and suppresses the disposition to cheerfulness, 
Eccles. 5: 16. Matt. 3: 26. Mark 6: 21. Luke 14: 24. John 12: 
2. The hands were washed before meals, as was rendered ne- 
cessary from the method of eating : prayers also were offered, 1 
Sam. 9: 13. The form of the short prayer, which in the time of 
Christ, was uttered before and after meals, has been preserved by 
the Talmudists. It is as follows, " Blessed be thou, O Lord, our 


God, the king of the world, who hast produced this food, or this 
drink, (as the case may be,) from the earth or the vine," Matt. 
14: 19. 15: 36. 26:27. Mark 14:22. 1 Cor. 10: 30. 1 Tim. 4: 4,5. 
The Hebrews were not very particular about the position, which 
their guests occupied at table, at least not so much so as the 
Egyptians were anciently, Gen. 43: 32 : still etiquette was not wholly 
neglected, 1 Sam. 9: 22. In the time of Christ, the arrogant Pha- 
risees, who, imitating the example of the heathen philosophers, 
wished to secure the highest marks of distinction, sought of course 
the most honourable seat at the feasts, Luke 14: 8. 

§ 146. Table and Method op Sitting. 

The table in the East, is a piece of round leather, spread up- 
on the floor, upon which is placed a sort of stool, called ]ftb**p . 
This supports nothing but a platter. The seat was the floor, 
spread with a mattress, carpet, or cushion, upon which those who 
ate sat with legs bent and crossed. They sat in a circle round 
the piece of leather with the right side towards the table, so that 
one might be said to lean upon the bosom of another. Neither 
knife, fork, nor spoon was used, but a cloth was spread round the 
circular leather, to prevent the mats from being soiled, which is 
the custom in the East to the present day. In the time of Christ 
the Persian custom prevailed of reclining at table. Three sat up- 
on one mat or cushion, which was large enough to hold that 
number merely ; hence the origin of the word ag^izgiahvog i. e. 
the master of the feast. The guests reclined upon the left side 
with their faces towards the table, so that the head of the second 
approached the breast of the first, and the head of the third ap- 
proached the breast of the second. In this mode of reclining we 
see the propriety of the expressions, " leaning upon one's bosom," 
Luke 7: 36, 38. 16: 22, 23. John 2: 8. 13: 23. The middle mat or 
cushion, and the centre position on any given mat was the most 
honourable, and was the one coveted by the Pharisees, Luke 14: 
8, 10. Anciently females were not admitted to the tables of the 
men, but had a table set in their own appropriate apartment, Esth. 
1:6, 9. Babylon and Persia must however, be looked upon as ex- 
ceptions, where the ladies were not excluded from the festivals 
of the men, Dan. 5: 2 ; and if we may believe the testimony of 

§ 148. OF FEASTS. 


ancient authors at Babylon they were not remarkable for their 
modesty on such occasions. 

§ 147. Mode of Eating. 

The food was conveyed from the dish to the mouth by the 
right hand ; this custom still prevails in the East. Ruth 2: 14. Prov. 
26: 15. John 13: 26. There was no need of a knife and fork ; the 
flesh hook or fork, mentioned lSam.2: 12, £)VQ. , having three 
prongs, belonging to the cooking apparatus, and not to the table, and 
was employed to take the flesh out of the pot. In ancient times 
a separate portion seems to have been assigned to each guest, and 
he was considered as much honoured, who received two or more 
portions, I Sam. 1: 4, 5. 9: 22 — 24. At a more recent period, all 
the guests sitting or reclining at the table ate from a common dish. 
Drink was handed to each one of the guests, in the cups and bowls 
already described, and at a very ancient period in a separate cup to 
each one. A cup, therefore, is frequently used tropically for a 
man's lot or destiny, Ps. 11: 6. 75: 8. Is. 51: 22. Jer. 25: 15, 27. 
35: 5. 49: 12. Ezek. 23: 31—34. Matt. 26: 39. The Egyptians, 
like the modern orientals, drank after supper. The servants stand- 
ing by observed the nod of their master and obeyed it ; hence the 
phrases, " to stand before or to walk before the master," are the 
same as to serve him. These phrases are used tropically also in 
respect to God, Gen. 5: 22, 24. 17: 1. 24: 40. 1 Sam. 2: 35. 

§ 148. Of Feasts. 

When men are prospered, they are disposed to indulge their 
joyful feelings in the company of jovial companions. Hence 
feasts are mentioned at an early period, Gen. 21: 8. 29: 22. 31: 
27, 54. 40: 20. In respect to the second tithes, which originated 
from the vow of Jacob, Gen. 28: 22. and which were set apart, not 
only as a sacrifice, but a feast, Moses was very particular in *his 
laws, Deut. 12: 4—18. 14: 22—29. 16: 10, 11. 26: 10, 11. He al- 
so enacted, that at the festival of the second sort of first fruits, 
[denominated by Michaelis the second first fruits,] servants and wi- 
dows, orphans and Levites should be made free partakers, Deut. 16: 
11 — 14. 12: 12 — 18. Jesus alludes to this festival, which was de- 


§ 148. OF FEASTS. 

signed for the poor, and which received its reward from God, in 
Luke 14: 13. The guests were invited by the servants, and were 
requested to come at a particular time, Matt. 22: 4. Luke 14: 7. 
The guests were anointed with precious oil, Ps. 23: 5. 45: 7. Amos 
6: 6. Eccles. 9: 8. Luke 7: 37, 38. Anciently, (and the same is the 
custom now in Asia,) the persons invited, before their departure, 
were perfumed, especially upon the beard, as we may gather from 
Exod. 30: 37, 38. We are hardly at liberty to conclude, as some 
have done, from Is. 28 : 1. and Wisd. 2 : 7. that the Hebrews 
were sometimes crowned with flowers at their festivals in the man- 
ner of the Greeks. They appeared on such occasions in white 
robes, Eccles. 9: 8. They gratified their taste by the exhibition of 
large quantities of provisions of the same kind, Gen. 18: 6. 27: 9. 
Job 36: 16 ; and also by a diversity in the kinds, Amos 6: 4, 5. Est. 
1: 5 — 8. Neh. 5: 18. Flesh and wine were the principal articles ; 
hence a feast is sometimes called the season of drinking, ?r£fi$3a , 
Is. 22: 13. As luxury increased, drinking on festival occasions 
was carried to great excess : it was continued from evening till 
morning. Such riotous meetings were called more recently in the 
Greek tongue xcJ^ot, and are deservedly condemned, Rom. 13: 13. 
Gal. 5: 21. 1 Pet. 4: 3. As the feasts were always held towards 
evening, the room or rooms, where they were held, were lighted 
up, and the fact, that in the climate of Palestine, the night, at least 
as it approached towards the morning, was cold, will afford a clew 
to the explanation of Matt. 8: ]2. 22. 13. 25: 30, &c. From feasts, 
jests, music, and riddles, were not excluded ; feasts, therefore, were 
symbolic of a state of prosperity, and exclusion from them was sym- 
bolic of sorrow and misery, Prov. 9: 2. et seq. Amos 6: 4, 5. Is. 5: 
12. 24: 7, 9. Hence also the kingdom of the Messiah is represent- 
ed under the image or symbol of a feast. This metaphorical repre- 
sentation was so common, and so well understood, that the ancient 
interpreters use the words, joy and rejoice, feast and feasting, as in- 
terchangeable terms, compare Ps. 68: 4. and Esther 9: 18, 19. with 
the Alexandrine version and Vulgate. In the New Testament, the 
word %aga or joy, is sometimes put for a feast, Matt. 25: 21, 23. 
As many of the Hebrew feasts were the remains of sacrifices, the 
guests were required to be pure or clean, to which a reference is 
made in various allegories and tropes, Ezek. 39: 16, 20. Is. 34: 4. 
Rev. 19: 17, 18. 



§ 149. Hospitality of the Orientals. 

In the primitive ages of the world there were no public inns, 
or taverns. In those days the voluntary exhibition of hospitality 
to one, who stood in need of it, was highly honourable. The glo- 
ry of an openhearted and generous hospitality continued even after 
public inns were erected, and continues even to this day in the 
East, Job 22 : 7. 31 : 17. Gen. 18 : 3—9. 19 : 2—10. Exod. 2: 
20. Judg. 19: 2—10. Acts 16: 15. 17: 7. 28: 7. Matt. 25: 35. Mark 
9: 41. Rom. 12: 13. 1 Tim. 3: 2. 5: 10. Heb. 13: 2. Hence not 
only the Nomades or wandering shepherds hospitably receive among 
themselves strangers, but there are also persons in cities who go 
about the streets and offer to each one, whom they meet, water free- 
ly, which is a great favour in the hot countries of the East ; this liber- 
ality customarily meets with some little reward, Matt. 10: 42. Mark 
9: 41: The high spirit of honour, that is characteristic of the orien- 
tals, is exhibited in a custom, which prevails to this day. If a man 
receive another, though he be a robber, into his house, if he eat with 
him even a crust of bread, he is bound to treat him as a friend, to 
defend him even at the hazard of his own life, unless he is willing 
to meet with the scorn and contempt of all his countrymen, Gen. 
19: 1—9. Josh. 2: 1—6. 9: 19. Judg. 4: 17—22. An allusion is 
made to this custom in Ps. 41: 9. 91: 1. 119: 19. 2 Sam. 12: 3. 
Luke 7: 34. John 13: 18. comp. Iliad. VI. 210—231. The feet 
of the guests, as before observed, were washed ; whence washing 
of feet also is used as a symbol of hospitality, Gen. 18: 4. John 13: 
5. 1 Tim. 5: 10. 




§ 150. Precautions against Fornication. 

Both polygamy and fornication were condemned by that pri- 
meval institution, which, in order to secure the propagation of 
the species, joined in marriage one man and one woman, Gen. 1: 
27, 28. The old and pious patriarchs religiously observed this 
institution. But before the time of Moses, morals had become 
very much corrupted, and not only the prostitution of females, 
but of boys, was very common among many nations, and even 
made a part of the divine worship; as indeed may be inferred 
from the words, \B*1jg , a prostitute boy, and ilt/^p , the feminine of 
it, which properly and originally mean a person religiously set 
apart and consecrated to the flagitious vice in question. To pre- 
vent these evils to which the Greek and Roman philosophers refus- 
ed in progress of time to oppose any decided resistance, Moses made 
the following regulations. 

I. That among the Israelites no prostitute, neither male nor 
female, should be tolerated, and that if the daughter of a priest 
especially, were guilty of whoredom, she should be stoned and 
her body burnt, Lev. 21: 9 ; because these things, as Moses observes 
in Lev. 19: 29. Deut. 23: 18, 19. were a great abomination in the 
sight of God. Further, for fear that some priests of low and av- 
aricious minds should, in imitation of other nations, make crimes 
of this kind a part of the divine worship, he enacted, 

II. That the price of whoredom, though presented in return 
for a vow, should not be received at the sanctuary, Deut. 23: 19. 
This law it seems was sometimes violated in the times of the kings, 
2 K. 23: 6, 7. To stop the evil at the commencement, he enacted 

III. That the man, who had seduced a female, should marry 
her, and in case the father would not consent, should pay the cus- 
tomary dowry, viz, thirty shekels ; in case violence had been of- 

§151. POLYGAMY. 


fered, fifty shekels, Exod. 22: 10. Deut. 22: 23—29. This law 
seems to have originated in an ancient custom alluded to in Gen. 
34: 1 — 12. Finally, to secure the great object, he enacted, 

IV. That a person, who when married was not found to be a 
virgin, as she professed before marriage, should be stoned before 
her father's house, Deut. 22: 20, 21. These laws it must be ad- 
mitted, were severe, but prostitutes of both sexes, notwithstanding 
their severity, were set apart in the time of the kings for the ser- 
vice of idols, Prov. 2: 16—19. 5: 3—6. 7: 5—27. Amos 2: 7. 7: 
17. Jer. 3: 2. 5: 7. 1 K. 14: 24. 15: 12. etc. 

§ 151. Polygamy. 

By the same primeval institution, just now referred to, poly- 
gamy was also forbidden. Lamech is the first mentioned, as having 
two wives, and the example which he set, found no lack of imita- 
tors, see Gen. 4: 19. compared with Matt. 19: 4 — 8. After the 
deluge the example of Noah and his sons was a good one, but it 
was not followed. Polygamy very much prevailed among the 
Hebrews in the time of Moses, as we may gather from the fact, 
that the first born of six hundred and three thousand five hundred 
and fifty men, above twenty years of age, amounted merely to the 
number of twenty two thousand three hundred and seventy-three, 
Num. 3: 42. That this evil might in progress of time be dimin- 
ished, Moses gave a narration, how the institution originally stood, 
Gen. 1: 27, 28. 2: 23, 24. stated the first transgression of it, Gen. 4: 
29. and the inconveniences, which had subsequently resulted from 
having a plurality of wives, Gen. 16: 4 — 10. 30: 1—3, 15. evils, 
which travellers in eastern countries assure us are very great. 

II. He interdicted to the kings, whom the Hebrews should 
thereafter elect, a multiplicity of wives. It is true he did not say 
precisely how many they should have, but probably meant the 
number should be limited by the custom of his time. Perhaps, 
therefore, the number was four, which is the exposition, advanc- 
ed by the Rabbins and Mohammedans, and is in a measure support- 
ed by the example of Jacob, Deut. 17: 17. 

III. He obligated the husband to bestow himself at certain . 
times upon each one of his wives, Exod. 21: 10, 11. compared 
with Gen. 30: 14 — 16. perhaps a week at a time upon each, as is 




the custom to this day in the East. He excepted, however, the 
season of the menses, when sexual intercourse was prohibited on 
penalty of punishment with death, either because the offspring of 
such intercourse was supposed to be leprous, or for some other 
reason it was deemed injurious. 

IV. The uncleanness, contracted by sexual connexion, con- 
tinued through a whole day, Lev. 15: 18. Under these circum- 
stances, a man could not well have more than four wives ; and in 
progress of time polygamy was much diminished. 

§ 152. The Choice of a Wife. 

The father of a family selected wives for his sons, and husbands 
for his daughters, Gen. 21: 21. 24: 31. Exod. 21: 9. Deut. 22: 16. 
Judg. 14: 1 — 4. If a son had a preference for any person as his 
wife, he asked his father to obtain her from her father, Gen. 34: 
2 — 5. Judg. 14: 1, 2. We may, therefore, well conclude, that the 
expressions in Jer. 31: 22. and Is. 4: 1, 2. are descriptive of a 
very great scarcity of men. But the father could not marry the 
daughter without the consent of the brothers, Gen. 24: 50. 34: 
11—27. 2 Sam. 13:20—29. comp. Gen. 12:11—13. 20:2—6. 
26: 7 — 17. The restraints, by which the fathers of families were 
limited in making choice of wives for their children, are mention- 
ed in Lev. 18: 7 — 18. 20: 11 — 20. Intermarriages, moreover, 
were prohibited with the Canaanites, for fear that the Hebrews 
should be seduced to idolatry, Exod. 34: 15, 16. Deut. 7: 3. The 
law was extended by Ezra and Nehemiah to intermarriages with 
all foreigners, on the ground that there was as much danger of 
contamination from other nations in their time, as there was from 
the Canaanites anciently, Ezra 9: 2—12. 10: 3. Neh. 13: 23. It 
was not lawful for a priest to marry a prostitute, a divorced, or a 
profane woman, and in the case of a high priest the interdiction 
was extended to widows, and to women of foreign extraction, Lev. 
21: 7, 13, 14. Daughters, who through a want of brothers were 
heiresses to an estate, were commanded to marry some one of 
their own tribe, and indeed some kinsman, if possible, of more or 
less remote relationship, lest the estate should go to another tribe 
or family, Num. 27: 1—11. 36: 1—12. 



§ 153. The Marriage Vow and Dowry. 

The marriage vow, iinfi* , was a covenant between the father 
and the brothers of the bride, and the father of the bridegroom, 
made in the presence of witnesses. At a somewhat recent peri- 
od, the covenant was committed to writing, and was sometimes 
confirmed by the additional precaution of an oath, Prov. 2: 17. 
Ezek. 16: 8. Mai. 2: 14. A reference seems to have been had to 
this oath in the nuptial sacrifices, of which mention is made by 
Josephus, Antiq. IV. 8. 23. By the marriage vow or covenant, 
not only the wedlock was confirmed, but the amount of presents 
was determined, which was to be given to the brothers ; and also 
the dowry, Ihb, which went to the father for the bride former- 
ly, was estimated at a certain price, Gen. 29: 18, 27. 34: 11, 12. 
Josh. 15: 16. 1 Sam. 18: 23 — 26. which varied according to circum- 
stances. In the time of Moses the medium estimation was thirty 
shekels, and the highest fifty, Deut. 22: 29. comp. Hos. 3:1,2. 
Wives, who were thus purchased, were too apt to be regarded as 
mere servants by their husbands, though there are not wanting 
instances, where they obtained the ascendency and reduced their 
husbands to subjection, 1 Sam. 25: 19—30. 1 K. 11: 2—5. 19: 
1, 2. 21:7, 8. The honour, which is now rendered to the female 
sex, originates from the instructions of the apostles, and the only 
fear is, lest it should become too great, Eph. 5: 25 — 33. 1 Pe- 
ter 3: 7. 

The wife, who was freely given up by her father, without his 
receiving for her any pecuniary compensation, was the more 
highly esteemed, and being herself conscious of her dignity, she 
arrogated not a little in her own behalf, Gen. 16: 5, 6. 21: 9 — 11. 
comp. 31: 15. Some obtained a wife, as the reward of their brave- 
ry, Josh. 15: 15—19. Judg. 1: 15. 1 Sam. 18: 24—27 ; and it was 
sometimes, though rarely the case, that the bride, instead of being 
purchased by the bridegroom, received a dowry from her father, 
Josh. 15: 18, 19. Judg. 1: 16, 17. 1 K. 9: 16. 



§ 154. Celebration of Nuptials. 

There was commonly an interval of ten or twelve months, be- 
tween the time when the agreement to marry was made, and the 
time when the marriage was celebrated, Gen. 24: 55. Judg. 14: 8. 
From the time of the agreement till its consummation by mar- 
riage, although there was no intercourse between the bride and 
bridegroom, not even so much as an interchange of conversation, 
they were, nevertheless, considered and spoken of as man and 
wife. If at the close of this probationary period, the bridegroom 
were unwilling for any cause to solemnize his engagements by the 
marriage of the bride, he was bound to give her a bill of divorce, 
the same as if she had been his wife. If the bride on the contrary 
could be convicted of having had any illicit intercourse with any 
person between the period of the promise and its consummation, 
she was condemned to be stoned, the same as if she had been mar- 
ried, Matt. I: 18—20. Luke 2: 5. 

When the day of marriage had arrived, the bride, having pre- 
viously visited the bath, adorned herself very richly with the 
choicest of those ornaments, which are considered appropriate to 
the women. Her head was encircled with a crown ; a fact, which 
is a sufficient reason of itself, why which primarily means a 

person that is crowned, should possess the secondary signification 
of bride. It was the duty of the bridegroom to see that a feast 
was made ready on the occasion, and in case he was a person of 
wealth, it was customarily prolonged through the week, Judg. 14: 17. 
About evening, the bridegroom, clothed in the festival robe, Is. 
19: 10. attended with a company of young men of about the same 
age, ol viol tov vvfxcfwvog, and cheered with songs and instrument- 
al music, conducted from her father's house the bride, who was 
in like manner surrounded with virgins of her own age, to his 
father's house, Judg. 14: 11—16. 1 Mac. 9: 37—47. John 3: 29. 
comp. Jer. 7: 34. 25: 10. 33: 11. In the time of Christ, whenev- 
er the bride was conducted by the bridegroom and his attendants 
to the house of the bridegroom's father, in case it was evening, 
the way before them was lighted by the second sort of flambeaux, 
that are mentioned in the fortieth section ; as we learn not only 
from the statement in the Talmud, but also from intimations in 

§ 155. CONCUBINES. 165 

Matt. 25: 1 — 10. Having arrived at the place, where the nup- 
tials were to be celebrated, the men began to indulge themselves 
in feasting and conviviality ; while the women, who were assem- 
bled in an apartment appropriated to themselves, were equally 
prompt in partaking of the feast, and in the exhibition of their 
gaiety and cheerfulness. At length the nuptial blessing, viz. a nu- 
merous offspring, was implored upon the parties concerned, Gen. 
24: 60. Ruth 4: 11, 12: a ceremony, which, simple and concise as 
it was, appears anciently to have been the only one, that was per- 
formed at the consummation of the marriage. At a later period, 
there were probably some additional ceremonies, for we read in 
Tobit 7: 15. that the father took the right hand of his beautiful 
daughter, and placed it in the right hand of the young Tobias, be- 
fore he uttered his solemn and impressive blessing. The spouse, 
who to this time had been veiled from head to foot, was at last led 
into the bed chamber, SlSlfr • 

§ 155. Concubines, tt^S. 

The ceremonies, mentioned in the preceding section, took 
place only in case of the marriage of a wife properly so called. 
Concubines, (some of whom had previously acted in the humble 
capacity of maid servants, and others were females who had pos- 
sessed their freedom,) were sometimes permanently associated by 
mutual consent with individuals of the other sex ; but, although 
this connexion was in fact a marriage, and a legitimate one, it was 
not, nevertheless, celebrated and confirmed by the ceremonies 
above related. The concubine thus associated had a right to 
claim the privileges of a wife ; and it was no longer in the power 
of her husband to dispose of her by public sale, even if she had 
previously been his slave, Deut. 20: 10 — 12. In order to pre- 
vent worse consequences, fathers frequently gave concubines to 
their sons ; and, whenever this was the case, they were bound by 
the laws of the state to treat them with the same tenderness, that 
they would a daughter or daughter in law, Exod. 21: 9 — 12. If 
a woman were made captive in war, she was allowed a month, as 
a period in which she was at liberty to mourn the loss of her pa- 
rents and friends ; and neither father nor son was permitted to 
take her as a concubine, till the expiration of that time, Deut. 20: 
10— 14. 



§ 156. Fruitfulness in the Marriage State. 

This was greatly desired. A large number of offspring was 
considered an instance of the divine favour of the highest kind. 
Sons were generally more desired than daughters, because they 
transmitted the name of the father in genealogies. Sterility was 
looked upon, not only as a ground of great reproach, especially to 
wives, but as a punishment from God, 1 Sam. 1: 6, 7. Ps. 127: 3 — 5. 
128: 4. Hos. 8: 14. Prov. 12: 6. Eccles. 6: 3. 

Hardly less reproach was attached to a state of celibacy, and 
no prospect, accordingly, was more unpropitious and forbidding to 
virgins, than that of living and dying unwed and childless, Gen. 16: 
2—14. 19: 30—32. 30: 13. Is. 4: 1. 47: 9. In such a state 
of things, barren wives thought it expedient to make use of various 
means to produce or to increase fruitfulness, Gen. 30: 15, 16. Cant. 
7: 18. They even offered their maids to their husbands, whose 
offspring they adopted, Gen. 16: 1—3. 30: 1—18. 

§ 157. Marriage of a Childless Brother's Widow. 

There was an ancient law, existing prior to the time of Moses, 
Gen. 38: 8 — 12. to this effect. If in any case the husband died 
without issue, leaving a widow, the brother of the deceased or the 
nearest male relation, blgk, was bound to marry, Ha*, the widow, 
to give to the first-born son the name of the deceased kinsman, 
to insert his name in the genealogical register, and to deliver into 
his possession the estate of the deceased. This peculiar law is 
technically denominated the Levirate Imo, and had its origin with- 
out doubt in that strong desire of offspring, which has been men- 
tioned in the preceding section. Moses was aware, that the Levi- 
rate Law was in some respects pernicious, but when he recollected 
the feeling which was at the bottom of it, and the importance of 
that feeling being cherished, he did not think proper to abolish it. 
While, therefore, he did not withhold from it his sanction, and 
thought proper to make it one of the permanent laws of the Jew- 
ish state, he reduced it within certain limits, and thereby rendered 
the injurious consequences as small as possible. He, accordingly, 
enacted, that whoever was unwilling to marry the wife of his deceas- 



ed kinsman, might decline it in the presence of judges, in case he 
would allow the woman the privilege of taking off his shoes, of 
spitting in his face, and of addressing him with the discreditable 
salutation of unshod, an appellation, which in effect would be the 
same with stigmatizing him, as the destroyer of his father's house, 
Deut. 25: 5 — 10. The disgrace, which would be the consequence 
of such treatment from the widow, was not so great, but a person, 
who was determined not to marry, would dare to encounter it, 
Ruth. 4: 7, 8. Matt. 22: 23—28. 

§ 153. Concerning Adultery. 

In those countries where polygamy prevails, the sentiment in 
respect to the perpetration of adultery is this. If a married man 
has criminal intercourse with a married woman, or with one pro- 
mised in marriage, or with a widow expecting to be married with a 
brother in law, it is accounted adultery. If he is guilty of such in- 
tercourse with a woman who is unmarried, it is considered for- 
nication, Adultery, even before the time of Moses, Gen. 
38; 24. was reckoned a crime of a very heinous nature, and was 
accordingly punished. In Egypt the nose of the adulteress, in 
Persia the nose and ears were cut off, Ezek. 23: 25. In the penal 
code of Moses the punishment annexed to this crime was that of 
death, but the mode of being put to death is not particularly men- 
tioned, because it was known from custom, Lev. 20: 10. It was 
not, however, as the Talmudists contend, strangulation, but stoning, 
as we may learn from various parts of scripture, for instance Ezek. 
16: 38, 40. John 8: 5. and as in fact Moses himself testifies, if we 
compare Exod. 31: 14. 35: 2. with Numbers 15:35,36. If the 
adulteress were a slave, the persons guilty were both scourged 
with a leather whip, D^p3, the number of the blows not exceed- 
ing forty. The adulterer in this instance, in addition to the 
scourging, was subjected to the further penalty of bringing a tres- 
pass offering, viz. a ram, to the door of the tabernacle of the con- 
gregation, to be offered in his behalf by the priest, Lev. 19: 20 — 22. 



§ 159. The Suspected Wife. 

The power was given to the husband, who suspected his wife 
of infidelity, of exacting from her in the temple or tabernacle 
what may be termed the ordeal oath, Num. 5: 11 — 31. To this oath 
were attached such dreadful penalties, that a person really guilty 
certainly could not take it without betraying her criminality by 
some indications, unless she possessed the extremity of hardi- 
hood. Moses appears to have substituted this oath and the cere- 
monies attending it, instead of an ancient and pernicious custom, of 
which some traces still remain in Africa; see Oldendorp's Ge- 
schichte der Mission, S. 266, 267. Dreadful as it was, there were not 
wanting wives, who set it at defiance ; licentiousness increased, and 
adulteries were multiplied, especially in the later periods of the Jew- 
ish state. The Talmudists themselves state, Sota c. 9, that the law 
in regard to the suspected wife was abrogated as much as forty years 
before the destruction of Jerusalem. The reason they assign for it 
is, that the men themselves were at that period generally adulter- 
ers, and that God would not fulfil the horrid imprecations of the or- 
deal oath upon the wife alone, while the husband was guilty of the 
same crime, comp. John 8: 1 — 8. 

§ 160. Bill of Divorce. 

As the ancient Hebrews paid a stipulated price for the privi- 
lege of marrying, they seemed to consider it the natural conse- 
quence of making a payment of that kind, that they should be at 
liberty to exercise a very arbitrary power over their wives, and 
to renounce or divorce them, whenever they chose. This state of 
things, as Moses himself very clearly saw, was not equitable as re- 
spected the woman, and was very often injurious to both parties. 
Finding himself, however, unable to overrule feelings and practices 
of very ancient standing, he merely annexed to the original institu- 
tion of marriage a very serious admonition to this effect, viz. that it 
would be less criminal for a man to desert his father and mother, 
than without adequate cause to desert his wife, Gen. 2: 14. com- 
pared with Mic. 2: 9. and Malachi 2: 11 — 14. He also laid a re- 
striction upon the power of the husband as far as this, that he would 


§ 160. BILL OF DIVORCE. 109 

that he would not permit him to repudiate the wife without giv- 
ing her a bill of divorce. He further enacted in reference to this 
subject, that the husband might receive the repudiated wife back, 
in case she had not in the mean while been married to another 
person ; but if she had been thus married, she could never after- 
wards become the wife of her first husband ; a law, which the 
faith due to the second husband clearly required, Deut. 24: L — 4. 
comp. Jer. 3: 1. and Matt. 1: 19. 19: 8. 

The inquiry, " What should be considered an adequate cause of 
divorce," was left by Moses to be determined by the husband him- 
self. He had liberty to divorce her, if he saw in her the nakedness 
of a thing, izrr VSVy^ , i. e. any thing displeasing or improper, as may 
be learnt by comparing the same expressions in Deut. 23: 14, 15 ; 
any thing so much at war with propriety, and a source of so much 
dissatisfaction, as to be, in the estimation of the husband, sufficient 
ground for separation. These expressions, however, were sharp- 
ly contested as to their meaning in the later times of the Jewish 
nation. The school of Hillel contended, that the husband might 
lawfully put away the wife for any cause, even the smallest. The 
mistake committed by the school of Hillel in taking this ground 
was, that they confounded moral and civil law. It is true, as far 
as the Mosaic statute or the civil law was concerned, the hus- 
band had a right thus to do ; but it is equally clear, that the 
ground of legal separation must have been, not a trivial, but a 
prominent and important one, when it is considered, that he was 
bound to consult the rights of the woman, and was amenable to 
his conscience and his God. The school of Shammai explained 
the phrase, nakedness op a thing, to mean actual adultery . This 
interpretation of the phrase gives to the law a moral aspect, and 
assigns a reason, as the ground of divorce, of the truest moral na- 
ture ; but the truth is, that the phrase, in itself considered, will 
not bear this interpretation, and the law beyond question was de- 
signed to be merely a civil, and not a moral one. 

Jesus, who did not so much explain, as fill up the deficiencies 
of the Mosaic institutes, agreed with the school of Shammai as far 
as this, that the ground of divorce should be one of a moral nature, 
but he does not appear to have agreed with them in their opinion 
in respect to the Mosaic statute. On the contrary he denied the 
equity, the moral correctness of that statute, and in justification of 



Moses maintained, that he suffered it to be sanctioned by his au- 
thority, only in consequence of the hardness of the people's hearts, 
Matt. 5: 31, 32. 19: 1—9. Mark 10: 2—12. Luke 16: 18. Wives, 
who were considered the property of their husbands, did not en- 
joy byUhe Mosaic statutes a reciprocal right, and were not at lib- 
erty to dissolve the matrimonial alliance by giving a bill of di- 
vorce to that effect. In the later periods, however, of the Jew- 
ish state, the Jewish matrons, the more powerful of them at least, 
appear to have imbibed the spirit of the ladies of Rome, and to 
have exercised in their own behalf the same power, that was 
granted by the Mosaic law to their husbands, Josephus, Antiq. 
XV. 7, 10. Mark 6: 17—29. 10: 12. In case the wife felt her- 
self injured and aggrieved, we may infer, from the fact of the con- 
cubine's possessing that right, who had previously been a maid-ser- 
vant, that the wife also possessed the right of obtaining a bill of di- 
vorce from a judge, Exod 21: 10. 

§ 161. Childbirth. 

In oriental countries childbirth is not an event of much diffi- 
culty, and mothers at such a season were originally the only as- 
sistants of their daughters, as any further aid was deemed unne- 
cessary, Exod. It 19. In cases of more than ordinary difficulty, 
those matrons, who had acquired some celebrity for skill and ex- 
pertness on occasions of this kind, were invited in ; and in this 
way there eventually rose into notice that class of women denom- 
inated midwives. The child was no sooner born, than it was wash- 
ed in a bath, rubbed with salt, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, 
^•nhrt, Ezek. 16: 4. It was the custom at a very ancient period, 
for the father, while music in the mean while was heard to sound, 
to clasp the newborn child to his bosom, and by this ceremony 
he was understood to declare it to be his own, Gen. 50: 23. Job. 3: 12. 
Ps. 22: 11. This practice was imitated by those wives, who adopt- 
ed the children of their maids, Gen. 16: 2. 30: 3 — 5, 

The birthday of a son, especially, was made a festival, and 
on each successive year was celebrated with renewed demon- 
strations of festivity and joy, Gen. 40: 20. Job 1: 4. Matt. 14: 6. 
Herodot. I. 133. Cyropaed. L 3, 9. The messenger, who brought 
the news of the birth of a son, was received with pleasure, and 



rewarded with presents, Job 3: 3. Jer. 20: 15. This is the case 

The mother after the birth of a son was unclean for seven 
days, and during the thirty three days succeeding the seven of un- 
cleanness remained at home. If a daughter were born, the num- 
ber of the days of uncleanness and seclusion at home was doubled. 
After the expiration of this period, she went into the tabernacle or 
temple, and offered a lamb of a year old ; or if she were poor, two 
turtle doves, and two young pigeons, for a sacrifice of purification, 

The son on the eighth day after its birth, was circumcised. 
By the fulfilment of this rite, it was consecrated to the service of 
the true God, Gen. 17: 10. comp. Rom. 4: 11. This, no doubt, 
was the principal end of circumcision, but there do not appear to 
have been wanting other subsidiary objects, comp. John 7: 23. 

I. Circumcision was a preventive of the disease called the an- 
thrax or carbuncle. The disease originates from the impurities, 
which collect under the^prepuce, and is fatal in its effects, Hero- 
dot. II. 45. Josephus against Apion, II. 13. Philo on Circumcision. 

II. Circumcision may have had the beneficial tendency of in- 
creasing the population, for when the prepuce, in such a climate 
as that of Palestine, is long, it is an obstacle to fruitfulness. The 
pains, resulting from circumcision, if we may believe the Moham- 
medans, are severest on the third day, Gen. 34: 25. 

The command, given in Gen. 17: 10 — 14. to practise circum- 
cision, is expressed in such terms, as to leave it quite evident, that 
the rite in question was known previous to the time of Abraham. 
We learn from Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, and from the 
prophet Jeremiah, 0: 25, 26, that in Egypt all the priests and not 
a few of the laity, were circumcised. No one certainly will un- 
dertake to say, that the Egyptians borrowed the rite from the He- 
brews ; and if this were not the case, it seems to be a very plain 

Lev. 12: 1—8. Luke 2: 22. 

§ 162. Circumcision. 

§ 163. Antiquity of Circumcision. 



and natural conclusion, that Abraham himself first learnt it in 
Egypt, Gen. 12: 10—15. 

If it be objected to this statement, that uncircumcision is de- 
nominated in Joshua 5: 9, the reproach of Egypt, (expressions, 
which imply that the Egyptians were not circumcised,) the answer 
is, those expressions might be very naturally and very properly 
used, provided only a part of the Egyptians, as above stated, were 
circumcised ; inasmuch as the Hebrews esteemed circumcision an 
honour of such a high and indispensable nature, that it could not 
be withheld, from a single individual without discredit and dis- 
grace, Gen. 34: 15. Josh. 5: 9. Jer. 9: 24, 25. It ought to be 
remarked, however, that notwithstanding the high estimation in 
which the Hebrews held this rite, the numbers of them, who in the 
age of the Maccabees, took a part in the gymnastic exercises of 
the Greeks and of course appeared naked on such occasions, con- 
sidered circumcision a discredit to them ; and, by an operation, de- 
scribed in' Celsus, Lib. VII. c. 25. and designated by the Greek 
verb imaTiaofxav, they contrive to restore the prepuce to its origin- 
al form, 1 Mac. 1: 15. 1 Cor. 7: 18. 

§ 164. On the Naming of Children. 

A name was given to the male child at the time of its circum- 
cision, but it is probable, that previous to the introduction of that 
rite, the name was given immediately after its birth. Among the 
orientals the appellations given as names are always significant. In 
the Old Testament, we find that the child was named in many in- 
stances from the circumstances of its birth, or from some pecu- 
liarities in the history of the family to which it belonged, Gen. 16: 
11. 19: 37. 25: 25, 26. Exod. 2: 10. 13: 3, 4. Frequently the name 
was a compound one, one part being the name of the Deity, and 
among idolatrous nations the name of an idol. The following in- 
stances may be mentioned among others, and may stand as specimens 
of the whole, viz. bttW-lj, Samuel, heard of God; JT^aifit, Adoni- 
jah, God is lord; p-j^irF, Josedech, God is just ; b33riN, Ethba- 
al, a Canaanitish name, the latter part of the compound being the 
name of the idol deity Baal ; ^gauto , Belshazzar, Bel, (a Baby- 
lonish deity,) is ruler and king. Sometimes the name had a pro- 



phetic meaning, Gen. 17: 15. Is. 7: 14. 8: 3. Hos. 1:4,6,9. Matt. 
1: 21. Luke 1: 13, 60, 63. 

In the later times :;ames were selected from those of the pro- 
genitors of a family ; hence in the New Testament, hardly any 
other than ancient names occur, Matt. 1: 12. Luke 1: 61. 3: 23. et 
seq. The inhabitants of the East very frequently change their 
names, and sometimes do it for very slight reasons. This ac- 
counts for the fact of so many persons having two names in Scrip- 
ture, consult Ruth U 20, 21. 1 Sam. 14: 49. 31: 2. 1 Chron. 10: 2. 
Judg. 6: 32. 7: 1. 2 Sam. 23: 8. Kings and princes very often 
changed the names of those, who held offices under them, partic- 
ularly when they first attracted their notice and were taken into 
their employ, and when subsequently they were elevated to some 
new station and crowned with additional honours, Gen. 41: 45, 17: 
5. 32: 28. 35: 10. 2 K. 23: 34, 35. 24: 17. Dan. 1: 6. John 1: 42. 
Mark 3: 17. Hence a name, (a new name) occurs tropically, as a 
token or proof of distinction and honour in the following among 
other passages, Philip. 2: 9. Heb. 1: 4. Rev. 2: 17. Sometimes 
the names of the dead were changed, for instance that of Abel, 
bin, a word, which signifies breath, or something transitory, as a 
breath, given to him after his death in allusion to the shortness of 
his life, Gen. 2: 8. Sometimes proper names are translated into 
other languages, losing their original form, while they preserve 
their signification. This appears to have been the case with the 
proper names, which occur in the eleven first chapters of Gen- 
esis, and which were translated into the Hebrew from a language 
still more ancient. The orientals in some instances, in order to 
distinguish themselves from others of the same name, added to 
their own name, the name of their father, grand-father, and even 
great grand-father. 

§ 165. Concerning the First Born, ^""DS . 

The first born, who was the object of special affection to his 
parents was denominated by way of eminence, Dh*\ IDS , the open- 
ing of the womb. In case a man married with a widow who by a 
previous marriage had become the mother of children, the first- 
born as respected the second husband was the child that was eld- 
est by the second marriage. Before the time of Moses, the fa- 



ther might, if he chose, transfer the right of primogeniture to a 
younger child, but the practice occasioned much contention, Gen. 
25: 31, 32. and a law was enacted overruling it, Deut. 21: 15 — 17. 
The first born inherited peculiar rights and privileges ; 

I. He received a double portion of the estate. Jacob in the 
case of Reuben, his first born, bestowed his additional portion up- 
on Joseph, by adopting his two sons, Gen. 48: 5 — 8. Deut. 21: 17. 
This was done as a reprimand, and a punishment of his incestuous 
conduct, Gen. 35: 22 ; but Reuben, notwithstanding, was enrolled 
as the first-born in the genealogical registers, 1 Chron. 5: 1. 

II. The first born was the priest of the whole family. The 
honour of exercising the priesthood was transferred, by the com- 
mand of God communicated through Moses, from the tribe of Reu- 
ben, to whom it belonged by right of primogeniture, to that of 
Levi, Num. 3: 12 — 18. 8: 18. In consequence of this fact, that 
God had taken the Levites from among the children of Israel in- 
stead of all the first born to serve him as priests, the first born of 
the other tribes were to be redeemed, at a valuation made by the 
priest not exceeding five shekels, from serving God in that capa- 
city, Num. 18: 15, 16. comp. Luke 2: 22. et seq. 

III. The first born enjoyed an authority over those, who were 
younger, similar to that possessed by a father, Gen. 25: 23. et seq. 
2 Chron. 21: 3. Gen. 27: 29. Exod. 12: 29. which was transferred 
in the case of Reuben by Jacob their father to Judah, Gen. 49: 
8 — 10. The tribe of Judah, accordingly, even before it gave 
kings to the Hebrews, was every where distinguished from the 
other tribes. In consequence of the authority, which was thus at- 
tached to the first-born, he was also made the successor in the 
kingdom. There was an exception to this in the case of Solomon, 
who, though a younger brother, was made his successor by David 
at the special appointment of God. It is very easy to see in view 
of these facts, how the word first born, came to express some- 
times a great, and sometimes the highest dignity, Is. 14: 30. Ps. 
89: 27. Rom. 8: 29. Col. 1: 15—18. Heb. 12: 23. Rev. 1: 5, 11. 
Job 18: 13. 



§ 166. The Nurture of Children. 

Mothers, in the earliest times, suckled, p^n , their offspring 
themselves, and that from thirty to thirty six months. The day 
when the child was weaned, and was made a festival, Gen. 21: 8. 
Exod. 2: 7, 9. 1 Sam. 1: 22—24. 2 Chron. 31: 16. 2 Mac. 7: 27,28. 
Matt. 21: 16. Josephus, Antiq. XI. 9. 

Nurses, rop^ioj were employed, in case the mother died be- 
fore the child was old enough to be weaned, and when from any 
circumstances she was unable to afford a sufficient supply of milk 
for its nourishment. 

In later ages, when matrons had become more delicate, and 
thought themselves too infirm to fulfil the duties, which naturally 
devolved upon them, nurses were employed to take their place, 
and were reckoned among the principal members of the family. 
They are, accordingly, in consequence of the respectable station, 
which they sustained, frequently mentioned in sacred history, Gen. 
35: 8. 2K. 11:2. 2 Chron. 22: 11. 

The sons remained till the fifth year in the care of the women ; 
they then came into the father's hands, and were taught not only 
the arts and duties of life, but were instructed in the Mosaic law, 
and in all parts of their country's religion, Deut. 6: 20 — 25. 7: 19. 
11: 19. Those, who wished to have them further instructed, 
provided they did not deem it preferable to employ private teach- 
ers, sent them away to some priest or Levite, who sometimes had 
a number of other children to instruct. It appears from 1 Sam. 
1: 24 — 28. that there was a school near the holy tabernacle, de- 
dicated to the instruction of youth. There had been many other 
schools of this kind, which had fallen into discredit, but were re- 
stored again by the prophet Samuel ; after whose time the mem- 
bers of the seminaries in question, who were denominated by way 
of distinction the sons of the prophets, acquired no little notoriety. 

The daughters rarely departed from the apartments appropri- 
ated to the females, except when they went out with an urn, "O , 
to draw water, which was the practice with those, who belonged 
to those humbler stations in life, where the ancient simplicity of 
manners had^not lost its prevalence, Exod. 2: 16. Gen. 24: 16. 29: 
10. 1 Sam. 9: 11, 12. John 4: 9. They spent their time in learn- 




ing those domestic and other arts, which are befitting a woman's 
situation and character, till they arrived at that period in life, 
when they were to be sold, or by a better fortune given away in 
marriage, Prov. 31: 13. 2 Sam. 13:7. The daughters of those, 
who by their wealth had been elevated to high stations in life, so 
far from going out to draw water in urns, might be said to spend 
the whole of their time within the walls of their palaces. In im- 
itation of their mothers, they were occupied with dressing, with 
singing and with dancing ; and, if we may judge from the repre- 
sentations of modern travellers, their apartments were sometimes 
the scenes of vice, Ezek. 23: 18. They went abroad but very 
rarely, as already intimated, and the more rarely the higher they 
were in point of rank, but they received with cordiality female 
visitants. The virtues of a good woman, of one that is determin- 
ed, whatever her station, to discharge each incumbent duty and to 
avoid the frivolities and vices, at which we have briefly hinted, are 
mentioned in terms of approbation and praise in Proverbs 31: 

§ 167. The Power of the Father. 

The authority, to which a father was entitled, extended not only to 
his wife, to his own children, and to his servants of both sexes, but 
to his children's children also. It was the custom anciently for sons 
newly married to remain at their father's house, unless it had been 
their fortune to marry a daughter, who, having no brothers, was 
heiress to an estate ; or unless, by some trade or by commerce, they 
had acquired sufficient property to enable them to support their 
own family. It might of course be expected, while they lived in 
their father's house and were in a manner the pensioners on his 
bounty, that he would exercise his authority over the children of 
his sons, as well as over the sons themselves. 

If it be asked, " What the power of the father was in such a 
case," the answer is, that it had no narrow limits, and, whenever 
he found it necessary to resort to measures of severity, he was at 
liberty to inflict the extremity of punishment, Gen. 21: 14. 38: 24. 
This power was so restricted by Moses, that the father, if he judg- 
ed the son worthy of death, was bound to bring the cause before 
a judge. But he enacted at the same time, that the judge should 
pronounce sentence of death upon the son, if on inquiry it could 



be proved, that he had beaten or cursed his father or mother, or 
that he was a spendthrift, or saucy, or contumacious, and could 
not be reformed, Exod. 21: 15, 17. Lev. 20: 9. Deut. 21: 18—21. 
The authority of the parents, and the service and love due to them, 
are recognized in the most prominent and fundamental of the mo- 
ral laws of the Jewish polity, viz. the ten commandments, Exod. 
20: 12. 

The son, who had acquired property, was commanded to ex- 
hibit his gratitude to his parents, not only by words and in feeling, 
but by gifts, Matt. 15: 5, 6. Mark 7: 11—13. The power of the 
father over his offspring in the ancient times was not only very 
great for the time being, and while he sojourned with them in the 
land of the living ; he was allowed also to cast his eye into the 
future, and] his prophetic curse or blessing possessed no little effica- 
cy, Gen. 49: 2—28. 

§ 168. Of the Testament or Will. 

I. As it respected sons. The property or estate of the father 
fell after his decease into the possession of his sons ; who divided 
it among themselves equally, with this exception, that the eldest 
son received two portions. The father expressed his last wishes 
or will in the presence of witnesses, and probably in the presence 
of the heirs, 2 K. 20: 1. At a recent period the will was made 
out in writing. 

II. As it respected the sons of concubines. The portion, that was 
given to the sons of concubines, depended altogether upon the feel- 
ings of the father. Abraham gave presents, to what amount is not 
known, both to Ishmael, and to the sons whom he had by Keturah, 
and sent them away before his death. It does not appear, that 
they had any other portion in the estate. But Jacob made the 
sons, whom he had by his concubines heirs, as well as the others, 
Gen. 21: 8—21. 25: 1—6. 49: 1—27. Moses laid no restrictions 
upon the choice of fathers in this resDect : and we should infer, that 
the sons of concubines, for the most part, received an equal share 
with the other sons from the fact, that Jephthah, the son of a con- 
cubine, complained, that he was excluded without any portion from 
his father's house, Judg. 11: 1 — 7. 

III. As it respected daughters. The daughters not only had no 




portion in the estate, but if they were unmarried, were consider- 
ed as, making a part of it, and were sold by their brothers into 
matrimony. In case there were no brothers, or they all had died, 
they took the estate, Num. 27: 1 — 8. If any one died intestate, 
and without any offspring, the property was disposed of according 
to Num. 27:8—11. 

IV. As it respected servants. The servants or the slaves in a 
family could not claim any share in the estate as a right, but the per- 
son, who made a will, might, if he chose, make them his heirs, 
comp. Gen. 15: 3. Indeed in some instances, those who had heirs 
recognized as such by the law, did not deem it unbecoming to be- 
stow the whole or a portion of their estates on faithful and deserv- 
ing servants, Prov. 17: 2. 

V. As it respected widows. The widow of the deceased, like his 
daughters, had no legal right to a share in the estate. The sons, 
however, or other relations were bound to afford her an adequate 
maintenance, unless it had been otherwise arranged in the will. 
She sometimes returned back again to her father's house, particu- 
larly if the support, which the heirs gave her, was not such as had 
been promised, or was not sufficient, Gen. 38: 11; compare also 
the story of Ruth. The prophets very frequently, and undoubted- 
ly not without cause, exclaim against the neglect and injustice 
shown to widows, Is. 1: 17. 10: 2. Jer. 7: 6. 22: 3. Ezek. 22: 7. 
comp. Exod. 22: 22—24. Deut. 10: 18. 24: 17. 

§ 169. Respecting Slaves, fi' 1 *}^, niftS'tp. 

The number in a family was very much increased by the slaves, 
that were attached to it. It is probable, that some of the patriarchs, 
as was sometimes the case at a later period with individuals in 
Greece and Italy, possessed many thousands of them. Slavery ex- 
isted and prevailed before the deluge, Gen. 9: 25. Moses therefore, 
although he saw the evils of slavery, was not in a condition to abol- 
ish it, and it would not have been wise for him to have made the 
attempt. He accordingly, permitted the Hebrews to possess for- 
eigners both male and female in the character of slaves : but the 
owners of them were bound by the laws to circumcise them, if they 
had not previously been so, and to instruct them in the worship of 
the only true God, Gen. 17: 13—17. 


We have said that the Hebrews were permitted to hold foreigners 
in slavery, but to this statement there are some exceptions, which 
are to be mentioned. The Canaanites could not be held in slave- 
ry. For them, under the then existing circumstances, slavery was 
regarded too great a privilege, or rather it would have subjected 
the Jews to too great a hazard. Such was the bad faith of the 
Canaanites, the greatness of their numbers, and their deep rooted 
idolatry, that, had they been introduced under any circumstances 
whatever into the Israelitish community, they would certainly have 
endangered their existence, as a people of God. The Gibeonites, 
the Kephirites, the Beerothites, and the inhabitants of Kirjath-jear- 
im, having surreptitiously obtained a treaty with the Israelites, were 
made exceptions also, and were employed in the service of the tab- 
ernacle, Josh. 9: 1 — 27. 

§ 170. Ways in which men became Slaves. 

Men lost their freedom in ancient times in so many ways, that 
it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to assert of any one of them, that 
it was the origin or first occasion of slavery. We shall there- 
fore, content ourselves with merely mentioning the various ways, 
in which they plunged into so unfortunate and debasing a condi- 

I. Captivity in war. Some suppose this to have been the origin 
of slavery, Deut. 20: 14. 21: 10, 11. Gen. xiv. 

II. Debts. These, as well as captivity in war, became an oc- 
casion of slavery, when they were so large, that the debtor was un- 
able to pay them, 2 K. 4: 1. Is. 50: 1. Matt. 18: 25. 

III. Theft. Slavery was the consequence of theft, when the 
thief was not able to repay the amount of the property, which he 
ha'd taken. Exod. 22: 2. Neh. 5: 4, 5. 

IV. Man-stealing. By this is to be understood that act of vi- 
olence, by which an individual in time of peace is unjustly sold 
into slavery, or is retained as a slave in the possession of the au- 
thor of the crime himself. Moses enacted laws of very great sever- 
ity against this crime, but they were restricted in their operation 
to those, who had by violence taken and made a slave, or sold for 
one, a free Hebrew, Exod. 21: 16. Deut. 24: 7. 

V. The, children of slaves. Children, who were slaves by birth, 


are mentioned in the Scriptures under the following Hebrew 
phrases ; 

, those born in one's house; 

•Ih&ttSh "•p.a , Jltttt^ "ipa, the children of maid-servants ; 

rP3 ""as , the sons or children of the house. 

Consult Gen. 14: 14. 15:3. 17:23. 21: 10. Ps.86: 16. 116: 16. 

VI. Purchase. This happened, when a man oppressed with 
poverty sold himself, or when a master sold his slave. Purchas- 
ing slaves of a person, who possessed them, was the most com- 
mon method of obtaining them, Num. 31: 4, 14 — 18, 35. Hence 
slaves are denominated p|pp, ^?.pfa the property or the purchase of 
silver, i. e. those purchased with silver. The price of a slave was 
different at different times, varying with the age, sex, health, 
skill, cS&c. of the individual sold. We may infer from Exod. 21: 32. 
that the medium price of a slave was thirty shekels ; and, by an 
examination of Lev. 27: 1 — 8. form a probable opinion as to the 
difference of the valuation of a slave in the different periods of his 

§ 171. Condition of Slaves among the Hebrews. 

Both the food and the clothing of those, who, from any cause, 
whatever it might be, had lost their freedom, were of the poorest 
description. All their earnings went to their master, and their 
labour was worth to him double that of a merely hired servant. 
Deut. 15: 18. They commonly had the consent of their masters 
to marry, or rather to connect themselves with a woman in that 
way, which is denominated by a Latin law-term contubernium. 
The children, that proceeded from this sort of marriages, were 
the property not of the parents, but of their owners. The child- 
ren, however, never addressed their owners as a father, but al- 
ways as a lord or master, Gal. 4: 6. Rom. 8: 15. Although the 
children born in his house were the slaves of the owner, they 
were as devoted and as true to him, as if they had sustained to 
him the actual relationship of children. It was in view of this 
fact, that the patriarchs thought proper to trust them with arms, 
and to train them up to war, Gen. 14: 14. 32:6. 33: 1. They 
were expected to perform any labour, which their masters deem- 
ed it expedient to require of them, but their common avocation 


was that of husbandry, and the tending of flocks and herds. The 
maid-servants were employed in domestic concerns, though not 
unfrequently they were compelled to engage in those duties, 
which from their nature were more befitting the other sex. 

The servant, who was found to be most faithful and discreet, 
was placed over the others, and was called rp3 )J>] , oiKOvofAog, or 
the steward, Gen. 24: 2. 47: 6. 1 Sam. 24: 7. 1 Chron. 27: 29, 30. 
Ruth 2: 5. It was the duty of the ruling servant or steward to al- 
lot to the others their various duties, and likewise to see their 
food prepared, except when, as was sometimes the case, a female 
servant, who had been found especially worthy to be trusted, had 
assumed the charge of the latter, Prov. 31: 15. 1 Chr. 4: 1, 2. Gal. 
4: 2. Eph. 3: 2. Tit. 1: 7. 1 Peter 4: 10. 

It was the business of some of the servants to instruct the 
children of their owners, while some waited upon their mistress, 
and others upon their master. The condition of these was in some 
respects less hard than that of the others, although it is natural to 
suppose, that those masters, who had any sense of the duties, which 
every man owes to another, whatever his condition, exhibited to all 
of their slaves acts of kindness and humanity, Job 31: 13. 

Moses, in order to render the condition of those, who had lost 
their liberty, as free from misery and as favourable as possible, 
made the following regulations : 

I. That servants or slaves should be treated with humanity. 
The Law, which is given in Leviticus 25: 39 — 53. speaks very ex- 
pressly in relation to the treatment of servants that were of He- 
brew origin, and in truth of those only ; but as the slaves that were 
of foreign origin, when once circumcised, were reckoned among 
the Hebrews, it may be considered as applying, in some degree at 
least, to all. 

II. That the master, who slew a servant of whatever origin, 
with a rod or by means of blows, should be punished according to 
the will and pleasure of the judge. In case the servant did not 
die till a day or two after being smitten, the master went unpun- 
ished, because the design of murdering the servant could not in 
that case be presumed, and the loss of the servant itself was deem- 
ed a sufficient punishment, Exod. 21: 20, 21. 

III. He further enacted, if the master injured the servant in 
eye or tooth, that is, according to the spirit of the law, m any- 


member whatever, the servant in consequence of such treatment, 
should receive his freedom, Exod. 21: 26, 27. 

IV. That the servants, on every sabbath and on all festival 
occasions, should enjoy a cessation from their labors, Exod. 20: 
10. Deut. 5: 14. 

V. That they should be invited to those feasts, which were 
made from the second tythes, Deut. 12: 17, 18. 16: 11. comp. 
Matt. 25: 21—23. 

VI. That the servants, in accordance with an ancient law or 
custom to which there is an allusion in Job 24: 10, 11. were en- 
titled to and should receive an adequate subsistence from those, 
to whom they were subject, Deut. 25: 4. comp. 1 Tim. 5: 18. 1 
Cor. 9: 9. 

VII. The master was bound to provide for the marriage of 
maid-servants, unless he took them to himself as concubines, or 
gave them to his son, Exod. 21: 8. 

VIII. A servant of Hebrew origin was not obliged to serve 
longer than six years, after which time he was to be dismissed 
with presents of considerable amount, and with the wife, whom 
he had married previous to having lost his freedom, Exod. 21: 2 — 
4. Lev. 25: 1 — 17. In case he had become a slave, while unmar- 
ried, and had married with the consent of his master during the 
period of his slavery, the wife could not go out with him to 
the enjoyment of freedom, till she had first completed her seven 
years of servitude, Exod. 21: 4. Lev. 25: 39—41. Deut. 15: 12—17. 
Of this privilege, for such it may be considered, the Hebrew maid- 
servants were, at first, for some reason, wholly deprived, Exod. 21: 
7. et seq. ; but at a later period, when the face of things had prob- 
ably undergone some changes, the Hebrew legislator thought fit 
to grant it to them, Deut. 15: 12 — 17. The person, who had 
once been a slave, but had afterwards obtained his freedom, was 
denominated in Hebrew, . If the servant, too much attach- 
ed to his master, his wife, and the children of whom he had be- 
come the father in his servitude, refused to accept the freedom, 
which had been offered him ; the master in the presence of a 
judge had liberty to receive him, and in sign of perpetual servi- 
tude was to thrust an awl through his ear into the door-post, 
Exod. 21: 5, 6. Deut. 15: 16. It was not in the power of their 
masters, however, to sell slaves of this description, notwithstanding 


they had voluntarily subjected themselves to perpetual servitude, 
to any person living out of the Hebrew territories, Exod. 21: 7, 8. 
In regard to those slaves who had not completed the six years of 
their service, it may be further remarked here, that, if they were 
Hebrews by origin, and had been sold to persons dwelling in the 
Hebrew territory, their relations or any other person might redeem 
them, or they might redeem themselves, if they had property suf- 
ficient, by paying a price adequate to the remaining years of service, 
making six in the whole, Lev. 25: 47 — 55. 

IX. On the year of jubilee, all the servants or slaves of He- 
brew descent were to be emancipated, Lev. 39: 25 — 41. 

X. Slaves, who were Hebrews by birth, were permitted to pos- 
sess some little property of their own, as may be learnt from Lev. 
25: 49, compared with 2 Sam. 9: 10. 

Finally, a slave who had fled from another nation and sought 
a refuge among the Hebrews, was to be received and treated 
with kindness, and not to be forcibly returned back again, Deut. 
23: 15, 16. 

§ 172. The Condition of Slaves among other Nations. 

Notwithstanding Moses inculcated in many instances hu- 
manity towards slaves, and protected them also by special laws 
enacted in their favour ; they were sometimes the subjects of 
undue severity of treatment, and of sufferings in various ways, 
Jer. 34: 8 — 22. Still it cannot be denied, that their condition was 
better among the Hebrews, than among some other nations ; as 
may be learnt from their well known rebellions against the Greeks 
and Romans. Nor is it at all wonderful, that the Hebrews differ- 
ed from other nations in the treatment of their slaves in a way so 
much to their credit, when we consider the many and weighty 
motives, that were presented to them thus to act. Especially 
when we consider, that in other countries, there was no sabbath 
for the slave, no day of rest, and no laws sanctioned by the Divinity 
in their favour. 

Runaway slaves, and those, who were suspected of an intention 
to do it, were branded, for the most part in the forehead, to which 
custom there are allusions in Galatians 6: 17. and Revelation 14: 9. 
22: 4. Slaves in heathen nations were debarred from a participa- 
tion both in all the civil festivals, and in all the religious exer- 



cises, which was a very different state of things from that among 
the Hebrews. After Christianity had penetrated into those na- 
tions, the state of things was in some degree changed ; and slaves, 
in the Christian Church, enjoyed equal privileges with any others, 
as far as the Church was concerned, Gal. 3: 28. Coloss. 3: 10, 11. 
Philem. 10. 1 Cor. 12: 13. Eph. 6: 8. 

Slaves in other nations were not supported by those, with 
whom they laboured ; consult Pollux on the word Tiavataant]. 
They were very rarely permitted to marry, or to enter into that 
state called by a Roman law-term contubernium ; their private pos- 
sessions were subjected to the will of their master ; and they were 
obliged to make him presents from it. Whenever they were so hap- 
py as to be manumitted, they were still under the necessity of re- 
taining the name offrcedmen, liberti, vodoi, in allusion to their pre- 
vious condition ; and their children, as if the disgrace were design- 
ed to be perpetuated, were denominated libertini,freedmen's sons. 
We have not time to dwell upon the occasional, we might say fre- 
quent, and excessive cruelty of their masters. 

In a word then, the condition of slaves was miserable, and the 
Jews were not to blame for boasting that they were the freemen 
of Abraham, John 8: 8. Paul himself acknowledges, that the con- 
dition of freedom is worthy of being eagerly embraced, when it 
can be embraced without dishonesty or injustice, but the freedom, 
which he esteemed most worthy in its nature and most important 
in its consequences, was that which is given through our Lord Je- 
sus Christ, 1 Cor. 7: 21 — 23. Rom. 8: 15. Having this statement 
in regard to the slavery of other nations in view, one is in a con- 
dition to understand the force of that comparison introduced at 
times in the New Testament, which represents the Jews under 
the Mosaic law, as in a state of servitude, and Christians as in a 
state of freedom, John 8: 32, 34. Rom. 6: 17. James 1: 25. It is a 
comparison, not only lively and impressive, but one, which, under 
the circumstances that existed in the time of our Saviour and the 
Apostles, was very naturally made. This comparison, as far as re- 
spected sinners, had already been made by philosophers and the 
meaning and emphasis attached to it were sufficiently well known 
to the Jews in the time of Christ. They must, therefore, have read- 
ily understood the expressions of Christ in John 8: 31 — 34. unless 
they wilfully preferred making a mistake in a case, that was suffi- 
ciently plain. 




§ 173. Character of the Hebrews. 

The character of the Hebrews exhibits the vices common among 
oriental nations, viz. luxury, pomp, effeminacy, and arrogance. The 
arrogance of the Hebrews in later times was very great, see Tal- 
mud, Baba Metzia, p. 83. John 8: 33. Among the great, there was too 
great a prevalence of extortion, of oppression, and of hypocritical 
friendships, that sought to cover the hollowness of the heart be- 
neath the external appearance. We find, that vices of this de- 
scription were a ground of complaint among the prophets, and the 
subjects of their reprehensions in all parts of their writings; and 
still it cannot be denied, that there occur in the history of the He- 
brews examples of great magnanimity, Gen. 14: 23. 44: 34. Judg. 
8. 23. 1 Sam. 12: 3, 4. 18: 1. 20: 4—8, 41, 42. 23: 16—18. 24: 7 
—12. 26: 9—12. 1 K. 20: 31. Of the various traits in the cha- 
racter of the Hebrews, which are developed in the course of their 
history, the most striking beyond any question is that of stubborn- 
ness and inflexibility, see Acts vii. The disposition for idolatry 
ceased after the captivity. If it be the fact, that the madness of 
worshipping idols seized upon some of the nobler sort of people, 
so late as the time of the Maccabees, it is sufficiently evident, that 
it did not extend to the great body of the nation. The public or 
political virtues of the people may perhaps be summed up by say- 
ing, that they were industrious in the culture of their fields, and 
brave on the field of battle. If we should assume the province of 
mentioning any particular period in their history, during which, 
more than at any other time, they appear to have excelled in brave- 



ry and in warlike skill, we should point to the days of David and 
the Maccabees. Among the moral virtues, that are most celebrat- 
ed in the Hebrew Scriptures, the following may be mentioned ; 

(1.) FiptX , justice, a general term also for moral integrity, and 
purity of life. 

(2.) n£N , M^fttt , truth, fidelity, an'd sincerity. 

(3.) TOfr , humanity, benevolence, or the love of our neighbour. 

(4.) EP123?, the mild or merciful, Vulg. mitissimi, New Testa- 
ment iiQatlg, are likewise spoken of with the most decided approba- 

Many other moral virtues and duties are commended and en- 
forced in the Old Testament ; so that there is no hesitancy in say- 
ing, that the Hebrews, in a knowledge of the principles of moral 
conduct, far exceeded all other nations. But we must not suppose, 
that the rectitude of the conduct of the Hebrews corresponded 
on all occasions to their knowledge, or that they all of them ful- 
filled those duties, the obligation of which they were too well in- 
formed not to admit. On the contrary, very many disregarded 
the light, which God had given, and neglected to fulfil those du- 
ties, which they felt themselves bound to perform. This per- 
versity of conduct exhibited itself more especially in the later pe- 
riods of their existence as a nation; when many among them per- 
verted the law of Moses by their traditions and philosophical quib- 
bles. Holding to the letter, they wandered sufficiently far from 
its spirit, and acquired among all nations a very disgraceful cele- 
brity for their falsehoods, impostures, and perjuries. Tacitus, 
Hist. V. 5. 1 Thess. 2: 15. Eph. 2: 14. In the last war of the 
Jews, viz. the contest with the Romans, the vices in their charac- 
ter to which we have alluded, prevailed more, and were check- 
ed by fewer restraints, than at any former period. Josephus him- 
self, notwithstanding his origin from the Jewish people, is so can- 
did as to confess the existence of such a state of things, as we have 
now stated. Comp. Matt. 12: 43 — 45. 


§ 174. Propriety and Refinement of Manners. 

Tt cannot be denied, that there prevailed among the Hebrews 
no little propriety and refinement of manners ; although the marks 
of civility, which they exhibited to each other in their social in- 
tercourse, are by no means the same in all respects with those, 
which would be expected in such intercourse from a well bred 
and polite inhabitant of modern Europe. The prevailing taste 
for civility and for refinement of manners was strengthened by con- 
siderations drawn from the law of Moses, Lev. 19 : 32. The 
proofs, that such civility and such refinement of manners actually 
existed and prevailed, are so numerous in the Bible, that a person 
would be disposed to complain, that they were too numerous, rath- 
er than that they were too few. 

But every country and every climate has something peculiar 
in its manners and modes of intercourse, as well as in other things. 
If in any country the common expressions of civility, and the us- 
ual forms of politeness should be thoroughly examined and duly 
estimated, they would be found to be more marked and extrava- 
gant, than was required by the actual state of the feelings. The 
orientals, especially, would be thought by an inhabitant of Europe 
to be excessive in their gestures and expressions of good-will, 
when in truth those gestures and expressions mean no more than 
very moderate ones among us. For instance, prostration upon the 
earth scarcely signified more among them, than a nod of the head, 
or an extension of the hand, among the less animated and more 
moderate inhabitants of occidental nations. The very ancient 
forms of civility and politeness, mentioned in Genesis 18: 1 — 30. 
19: 1—3. 23: 7, 12. 41: 43. 42: 6. and spoken of likewise by He- 
rodotus and other ancient historian's, have been perpetuated to a 
great degree among eastern nations till the present day. 

In the time of Christ, the ancient mode of addressing those who 
were worthy of being honoured, viz. by saying my lord, or words 
to that effect, was in a measure superseded ; and the honorary 
and more extravagant address of Rabbi, i. e. the great, 5*^ 
which originated in the schools, had become common among the 
people; also the title of xgdttoTe, or most excellent, Luke 1:3. 
Acts 23: 26. 24: 3. 26: 25. 



§ 175. Mode of Salutation. 

The expressions used at salutation, and also those, which were 
used at parting, implied in both instances, that the person who em- 
ployed them, interceded for a blessing on the other. Hence the 
word -]"13, which originally means to bless, means also to salute or 
to welcome, and to bid adieu, Gen. 47: 8 — 11. 2 K. 4: 29. 10: 13. 
1 Chron. 18: 10. 

The forms of salutation that prevailed among the ancient He- 
brews, were as follows ; 

(1.) rnrr? ^pns, rnrnb rnrp ^nh», be thou blessed oj 

(2.) *pb9 mh' f the blessing of Jehovah be upon thee. 

(3.) ^733? nirP, may God be with thee. 

(4.) r£ bibuj, Tpb.S trib'tf:, may peace, i. e. every blessing and 
prosperity, be yours. This was the most common salutation, see 
Ruth 2: 4. Judg. 19: 20. 1 Sam. 25: 26. 2 Sam. 20: 9. Ps. 129: 8. 

(5.) STrtl, Sir, be your life prospered. This was the com- 
mon salutation among the Phenicians. It was in use also among 
the Hebrews, but was not addressed by them to any person except 
their kings. 

(6.) Xaigt, answering to the Latin ave or salve, in Hebrew 
Wfr; or ft^h , Luke 1: 27, 28. Matt. 26: 49. 28: 9. 

The gestures and inflections of the body, which were made on 
an occasion of salutation, differed at different times, varying with 
the dignity and station of the person, who was saluted ; as is the 
case among the orientals to this day. In pronouncing the forms of 
salutation just given, the orientals place the right hand upon the 
left breast, and with much gravity incline the head. If two Arab 
friends of equal rank in life meet together, they mutually extend to 
each other the right hand, and having clasped, they elevate them, 
as if to kiss them. Having advanced thus far in the ceremony, 
each one draws back his hand, and kisses it instead of his friend's, 
and then places it upon his forehead. If one of the Arabs be 
more exalted in point of rank than the other, he is at liberty to give 
the other an opportunity of kissing, instead of his own, the hand of 
his superior. The parties then continue the salutation by reci- 
procally kissing each other's beard, having first placed the hand 



under it, in which case alone it is lawful to touch the beard, 2 Sam. 
20: 9. It is sometimes the case, that persons, instead of this cere- 
mony, merely place their cheeks together. It is the common 
practice among the Persians for persons in saluting to kiss each 
other's lips ; if one of the individuals be a person of high rank, 
the salutation is given upon the cheeks instead of the lips, 2 Sam. 
20: 9. Gen. 29: 11, 13. 33: 4. 39: 11. 48: 10—12. Exod. 4: 27. IS: 
7. The Arabians are in the habit of inquiring respecting the 

5 ^ ^ 

health, EiV^, p^JLw, of a person, when they salute him, Gen. 29. 6. 
43: 27. 1 Sam. 16: 4. They give thanks to God, that they once 
more see their friend, they pray to the Almighty in his behalf, 
and supplicate for him every sort of prosperity. They are some- 
times so animated on such occasions, as to repeat not less than ten 
times the ceremony of grasping hands and kissing, and the interro- 
gations respecting each other's health. It may, therefore, be well 
concluded, that the salutation between friends was an occurrence, 
which consumed some time, and for this reason it was anciently 
inculcated upon messengers, who were sent upon business that 
required despatch, not to salute any one by the way, 2 K. 4: 29. 
Luke 10: 4. 

When we consider the nature of the oriental salutations, the 
ardour of gesticulation on such an occasion, the professions of 
friendship and good will, which were then made, we should not 
wonder that the evangelist John in his second epistle, eleventh 
verse, thought it necessary to forbid a christian to salute a man of 
another sect, or to welcome him to his house. For it is very 
clear, that pursuing such a course would have carried an errone- 
ous appearance, and would have possessed the very injurious ef- 
fect of confounding distinctions, and giving encouragement to he- 

In the presence of the great and the noble, the orientals in- 
cline themselves almost to the earth, kiss their knees, or the hem 
of their garment, and place it upon their forehead. When in the 
presence of kings and princes more particularly, they go so far as 
to prostrate themselves at full length upon the ground, sometimes 
with their knees bent, they touch their forehead to the earth, and 
before resuming an erect position either kiss the earth, or, if they 
prefer it, the feet of the king or prince, in whose presence they are 
permitted to appear. 


§ 176. ON VISITING. 

This is the state of things among the orientals ; and one proof 
among others, that it was the same among the ancient Hebrews, 
is to be found, in some instances in the prevailing, and in others in 
the original signification of those words, which are used to express 
the attitudes and the acts of salutation. The words to which we re- 
fer, are as follows ; 

TljP , to incline or bend down the head. 

2*13 ,to bend down the body very low. 

Tjna , to bend the knee, also to salute one. 

n£-]tt tnBN sns, 'nsna rtirrguSn, to bend down 

to the earth, to fall prostrate on the earth, to fall with the face to 
the earth. 

The word ttjHft'jjSr, when standing by itself, does not mean 
prostration upon the earth, but merely an inclination of the body, 
as is evident from 1 K. 2: 19. Prostration is expressed in Greek 
by the word tiqooxvvhv, and in Latin by the word adorare. The 
various positions of body, of which we have spoken, were assum- 
ed in the word of God. The Greeks and Latins maintained, 
that there should be a prostration of the body in the worship of 
God only, and not on an occasion of less importance, Acts 10.: 25, 
26. Rev. 19: 20. 22: 9. The Hebrew verb -tfO is used only in 
reference to the adoration of idols, and not of the supreme God, 
Is. 44: 15, 17, 19. 46: 6. The corresponding word in the Ara- 
mean and Arabic dialects is more broad in its signification. Dan. 
2: 46. 3: 5. 

§ 176. On Visiting. 

A person, who went on a visit, found himself under the ne- 
cessity of knocking at the gate, or of calling with a loud voice, 
till the master of the house came out. The visitant was then, if 
it appeared suitable to the master of the house, conducted in ; but 
not till a sign had first been made to the females of the family, to 
retire to their appropriate apartments, 2 K. 5: 9 — 12. Acts 10: 
17. Those, who intended to visit persons that held a high rank 
in life, were in the habit of sending previous notice of their con- 
templated visit, but they did not fulfil the purpose, they had thus 
announced, without bringing with them such presents, as were 
suitable. The practice of carrying presents, when a person visits 

§ 177. OF GTFTS. 


those who are high in life, is still continued in the East. The 
guest set out upon his visit with a suitable pomp and retinue, and 
was received at the mansion, to which he was going, with equal in- 
dications of magnificence, his head was anointed, and he was per- 
fumed with aromatic substances. Traces of these ceremonies oc- 
cur in Gen. 27: 27. Exod. 30: 37, 38. Prov. 27: 9. Num. 16: 6, 
17, 18, 37, 38. In the East, the following custom has hitherto 
prevailed and does at present. If it appear convenient or neces- 
sary in the estimation of his host for the visitant to retire, in order 
to relieve himself from the disagreeable necessity of saying so in 
express terms, he gives him a polite hint in respect to his wishes 
by causing him to be regaled with incense or burnt perfume. And 
this is accordingly the concluding ceremony of the visit. 

§ 177. Of Gifts. 

The practice of making presents, »"Tft3», ^33, x^r h 

Num. 22: 7, 16, 37. 24: 11 — 13. is very common in oriental coun- 
tries. The custom probably had its origin among those men, who 
first sustained the office of kings or rulers, and who, from the no- 
velty and perhaps the weakness attached to their situation, chose, 
rather than make the hazardous attempt of exacting taxes, to con- 
tent themselves with receiving those presents, which might be 
freely offered, 1 Sam. 10: 27. Hence it passed into a custom, 
that whoever approached the king, should come with a gift. This 
was the practice and the expectation. The practice of present- 
ing gifts was subsequently extended to other great men, to men 
who were inferiour to the king, but who were, nevertheless, men 
of influence and rank ; it was also extended to those who were 
equals, when they were visited, Prov. 18: 16. 

Kings themselves were in the habit of making presents, proba- 
bly in reference to the custom in question and the feelings connect- 
ed with it, to those individuals, their inferiours in point of rank, 
whom they wished to honour, and also to those, who, like them- 
selves, were clothed with the royal authority. These presents, 
viz. such as were presented by the king as a token of the royal es- 
teem and honour, are almost invariably denominated in the He- 
brew Jfija and mm , see 1 K. 15: 19. 2 K. 16: 8. 18: 14. Is. 30: 
2 — 6. The more ancient prophets did not deem it discreditable to 


them to receive presents, nor unbecoming their sacred calling, ex- 
cept when, as was sometimes the case, they refused by way of ex- 
pressing their dissatisfaction or indignation, 2 K. 5: 5. 6: 9. In later 
times, when false prophets, in order to obtain money, prophesied 
without truth and without authority, the true prophets for the 
purpose of keeping the line of distinction as marked and distinct 
as possible, rejected every thing that looked like pay, Amos 7: 14. 
Gifts of the kind, that have now been described, are not to be con- 
founded with those, which are called IrjtiS, and which were pre- 
sented to judges, not as a mark of esteem and honour, but for pur- 
poses of bribery and corruption. The former was considered an 
honour to the giver, but a gift of the latter kind has been justly 
reprobated in every age, Exod. 23: 8. Deut. 10: 17. 16: 19. 27: 25. 
Ps. 15: 5. 26: 10. Is. 1: 23. 5: 23. 33: 15. 

§ 178. Kinds of Presents and Methods of bringing them. 

The giver was not restricted as to the kind of present, which 
he should make. He might present not only silver and gold, but 
clothes and arms, also different kinds of food, in a word, any thing 
which could be of benefit to the recipient, Gen. 43: 11. 1 Sam. 9: 
7. 16: 20. Job. 42: 11. It was the custom anciently, as it is at the 
present time in the East, for an individual when visiting a person 
of high rank, to make some presents of small value to the servants 
or domestics of the person visited, 1 Sam. 25: 27. It was the 
usual practice among kings and princes to present to their favour- 
ite officers in the government, to ambassadors from foreign courts, 
to foreigners of distinction, and to men eminent for their learning, 
garments of greater or less value, as already observed, Gen. 45: 
22, 23. Esth. 8: 15. The royal wardrobe, in which a large num- 
ber of such garments was kept, is denominated in Hebrew Siftfibft, 
2 Chron. 9: 24. It was considered an honour of the highest kind, 
if a king or any person in high authority thought it proper, as a 
manifestation of his favour, to give away to another the garment, 
which he had previously worn himself, 1 Sam. 18: 14. In the 
East at the present day, it is expected that every one who has 
received a garment from the king, will immediately clothe him- 
self in it, and promptly present himself and render his homage to 
the giver ; otherwise he runs the hazard of exciting the king's dis- 

§ 179. PUBLIC HONOURS. 193 

pleasure, comp. Matt. 22: 11, 12. It was sometimes the case, that 
the king, when he made a feast, presented vestments to all the 
guests who were invited, with which they clothed themselves, 
before they sat down to it, 2 K. 10: 22. Gen. 45: 22. Rev. 3: 5. 
Cyrop. VIII. 3. 1. Iliad XXIV. 226, 227. In oriental countries, 
the presents, which are made to kings and princes, are to this day 
carried on beasts of burden, are attended with a body of men, and 
are escorted with much pomp. It matters not, how light or how 
small the present may be, it is heavy enough at any rate to be car- 
ried on the back of a beast of burden, or if carried by a man, to be 
supported by both of his hands, Judg. 3: 18. 2 K. 8: 9. 

§ 179. Public Honours. 

It is the custom in Asia, to exhibit the most distinguished marks 
of attention and honour to kings, to princes, and to national am- 
bassadors, whenever on any public occasions they enter cities, 
or return from a distance to the places of their customary resi- 
dence. On such occasions there is a great concourse of people. 
The small windows, which look towards the street and at other 
times are shut up, are then thrown open. The level roofs are 
crowded and alive with eager spectators. The streets, to prevent 
the rising of the dust, are sprinkled with water. They are also, 
with the exception of a small undecorated path left in the centre 
of them for the procession, strewed with flowers and branches of 
trees, and spread with richly embroidered carpets. The specta- 
tors clap their hands, and shouts of joy re-echo on every side. On 
other occasions, when the people are permitted to behold the 
king, they honour and salute him in silence, 2 Sam. 16: 16. 1 K. 
1: 40. 2 K. 9: 13. Is. 62: 11. Zech. 9: 9. Matt. 21: 7, 8. The 
musicians walk first in the procession, 1 K. 18: 46. 1 Chron. 15: 
27 — 29. The persons, who sustain offices in the government, and 
are attached to the palace, are the next in the procession. Then 
follows the king. All of them are carried on noble coursers. 
Anciently kings, on such occasions, rode in chariots, Gen. 41: 43. 
2 Sam. 15: 1. 1 K. 1: 5. 

Note. Ceremonies similar to those, which have now been de- 
scribed, are exhibited in Asia on two other public occasions, be- 




side the one in question ; viz. when a person has deserted the 
Christian and embraced the Mohammedan faith, and when a class 
or school of boys have finished the study of the Koran. The boys, 
who have thus completed the perusal of the writings of the East- 
ern Prophet, are seated upon the choicest steeds. Musicians go 
before them, the same as in the procession of kings ; and, surround- 
ed with an escort of shouting fellow-students, they are conducted 
through the city. The prevalence of these customs in the East 
will throw some light upon such passages, as the following, Gen. 
41: 23. Esth. 6: 7—9. 1 Sam. 10: 5—10. 

§ 180. Conversation and bathing. 

Conversation, in which the ancient orientals indulged like oth- 
er men, in order to beguile the time, was held in the gate of the 
city. Accordingly there was an open space near the gate of the 
city, as is the case at the present day in Mauritania, which was 
fitted up with seats for the accommodation of the people, Gen. 
19: 1. Ps. 69: 12. Those, who were at leisure, occupied a position 
on these seats, and either amused themselves with witnessing those 
who came in and those who went out, and with any trifling occurren- 
ces, that might offer themselves to their notice, or attended to the 
judicial trials, which were commonly investigated at public places 
of this kind, viz. at the gate of the city, Gen. 19: 1. 34: 20. Ps. 26: 
4, 5. 69: 12. 127: 5. Ruth 4: 11. Is. 14: 31. 

Intercourse by conversation, though not very frequent, was not 
so rare among the ancient orientals, as among their descendants of 
modern Asia. Nor is this to be wondered at, since the fathers 
drank wine, while the descendants are obliged to abstain from 
it ; and we are well assured, that the effect of this exhilarating 
beverage was to communicate no little vivacity to the charac- 
ters of the ancient Asiatics, at least to that of the Hebrews, see 
Is. 30: 29. Jer. 7: 34. 30: 19. Amos 6: 4, 5. The ancient Asia- 
tics, among whom we include the Hebrews, were delighted with 
singing, with dancing, and with instruments of music. Promenad- 
ing, so fashionable and so agreeable in colder latitudes, was wea- 
risome and unpleasant in the warm climates of the East, and this 
is probably one reason, why the inhabitants of those climates pre- 
ferred holding intercourse with one another, while sitting near 



the gate of the city, or beneath the shade of the fig-tree and the 
vine, 1 Sam. 22: 6. Micah 4: 4. It is for the same reason also, 
that we so frequently hear in the Hebrew Scriptures of persons 
sitting down as in the following passage, " Blessed is the man, 
that standeth not in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the 
scornful, see Ps. t: 1. 107: 32. 89: 7. Ill: 1. 64: 2. 50: 20. 26: 5. 

The bath was always very agreeable to the inhabitants of the 
East, Ruth 3: 3. 2 Sam. 11: 2. 2 K. 5: 10. And it is not at all 
surprising, that it should have been so, since it is not only cooling 
and refreshing, but is absolutely necessary in order to secure a 
decent degree of cleanliness in a climate, where there is so much 
exposure to dust. The bath is frequently visited by Eastern la- 
dies, and may be reckoned among their principal recreations. 
Those Egyptians, who lived at the earliest period of which we 
have any account, were in the habit of bathing in the waters of 
the Nile, Exod. 2: 5. 7: 13—25. Herodot. II. 37. It was one of 
the civil laws of the Hebrews, that the bath should be used. The 
object of the law without doubt was to secure a proper degree of 
cleanliness among them, Lev. 14: 2. 15: 1 — 8. 17: 15, 16. 22: 6. 
Num. 19: 6. We may, therefore, consider it as probable, that 
public baths, soon after the enactment of this law, were erected 
in Palestine, of a construction similar to that of those, which are 
so frequently seen at the present day in the East. 

The orientals, when engaged in conversation, are very candid 
and mild, and do not feel themselves at liberty directly to contra- 
dict the person with whom they are conversing, although they 
may at the same time be conscious, that he is telling them false- 
hoods. The ancient Hebrews in particular very rarely used any 
terms of reproach more severe than those of 'jDiu adversary or oppo- 
ser, raca, contemptible, and sometimes bi2 fool, an expres- 
sion, which means a wicked man or an atheist, Job 2: 10. Ps. 
14: 1. Is. 32: 6. Matt. 5: 22. 16: 23. Tanchuma v. 2. xvm. 4. 
When any thing was said, which was not acceptable, the dissatisfi- 
ed person replied it is enough, ^7 tDb S^, havov latv, Deut. 3: 
26. Luke 22: 38. 

The formula of assent or affirmation was as follows; ov e Inag, 
rnra^T thou hast said, or thou hast rightly said. We are inform- 
ed by the traveller Aryda, that this is the prevailing mode of a 
person's expressing his assent or affirmation to this day, in the vi- 


cinity of Mount Lebanon, especially where he does not not wish to 
assert any thing in express terms. This explains the answer of 
the Saviour to the high priest Caiaphas in Matt. 26: 64. when he 
was asked, whether he was the Christ the Son of God, and replied 
av tijiag, thou hast said. 

To spit in company in a room, which was covered with a car- 
pet, was an indication of great rusticity of manners ; but in case 
there was no carpet, it was not accounted a fault in a person, pro- 
vided he spit in the corner of the room. The expressions, there- 
fore, in Deuteronomy, 25: 7 — 9. viz. *P3£>S rtg^l and she shall 
spit in his face, are to be understood literally, the more so on this 
account, because in other places, where spitting, buffeting, &x. 
are mentioned, they occur under circumstances, where there ex- 
isted a great excitement of feeling, and because there are not 
wanting instances, of even greater rudeness and violence, than that 
of spitting in one's face, Matt. 26: 67. Mark 14: 65. comp. 1 K. 
22: 24. Is. 57: 4. Ezek. 2: 6. 25: 6. 2 Sam. 16: 6, 7. The orien- 
tals, as is very well known, are fond of taking a nap at noon, to 
which they are strongly invited by the oppressive heat of their cli- 
mate, 2 Sam. 4: 5. 11: 2. Matt. 13: 25. The phrase, to cover one's 
feet, is used in certain instances to express the custom of retiring 
to rest or sleeping at this time, Judg. 3: 24. 1 Sam. 24: 4. 

§ 181. Treatment of the Jews to Strangers. 

Moses inculcated and enforced, by numerous and by powerful 
considerations, as well as by various examples of benevolent hos- . 
pitality, mentioned in the book of Genesis, the exhibition of kind- 
ness and humanity to strangers. There were two classes of per- 
wsons, who in reference to this subject, were denominated strangers, 
. One class were those, who, whether Hebrews or foreign- 
ers, were destitute of a home, in Hebrew btldlR The others 
were persons, who, though not natives, had a home in Palestine ; 
the latter were t**"^ strangers or foreigners in a strict sense of 
the word. Both of these classes, according to the civil code 6% 
Moses were to be treated with kindness, and were to enjoy the 
same rights with other citizens, Lev. 19. 33, 34. 24: 16, 22. Num. 
9: 14. 15: 14. Deut. 10: 18. 23: 8. 24: 17. 27: 19. 

In the earlier periods of the Hebrew state, persons who were 


natives of another country, but who had come, either from choice 
or necessity, to take up their residence among the Hebrews, ap- 
pear to have been placed in favourable circumstances. At a later 
period, viz. in the reigns of David and Solomon, they were com- 
pelled to labour on the religious edifices which were erected by 
those princes ; as we may learn from such passages as these, 
" And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of is- 
rael, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered 
them ; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three 
thousand and six hundred; and he set threescore and ten thousand of 
them to be bearers of burdens' 1 etc. see 1 Chron. 2*2: 2. 2Chron. 
2: 1, 16, 17. The exaction of such laborious services from fo- 
reigners was probably limited to those, who had been taken pri- 
soners in war ; and who, according to the rights of war as they 
were understood at that period, could be justly employed in any 
offices, however low and however laborious, which the conquer- 
er thought proper to impose. In the time of Christ, the degen- 
erate Jews did not find it convenient to render to the strangers 
from a foreign country those deeds of kindness and humanity, 
which were not only their due, but which were demanded in their 
behalf by the law of Moses. They were in the habit of under- 
standing by the word 3H neighbour, their friends merely, and ac- 
cordingly restricted the exercise of their benevolence by the same 
narrow limits, that bounded in this case their interpretation ; con- 
trary as both were to the spirit of those passages, which have been 
adduced above, Lev. 19: 18. 

§ 182. The Poor and Beggars. 

Moses, as may be learnt, by consulting the references in the 
preceding section, made abundant provision for the poor, but it 
does not appear, that he says any thing in respect te beggars. We 
find the first express mention of mendicants in the Psalms, see 
Ps. 109: 10. In the parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, which were 
written subsequently, the mention of them is quite frequent. In 
the time of Christ, mendicants were found sitting in the streets, 
at the doors of the rich, at the gates of the temple, and likewise, 
as we have reason to believe, at the entrance of synagogues, 
Mark 10: 46. Luke 16: 20. Acts 3: 2. Sometimes food and some- 



times money was presented to them, Matt. 26: 9. Luke 16: 21. We 
have no reason to suppose, that there existed in the time of Christ 
that class of persons called vagrant beggars, who present their sup- 
plications for alms from door to door, and who are found at the 
present day in the East, although less frequently than in the coun- 
tries of Europe. That the custom of seeking alms by sounding a 
trumpet or horn, which prevails among a class of Mohammedan 
monastics, called Kalender or Karendal, prevailed also in the 
time of Christ, may be inferred from Matt. 6: 2 ; where the verb 
occ\tii£oj possesses the shade of signification, that would be at- 
tached to a corresponding word in the Hiphil form of the Hebrew, 
and is to be rendered transitively, as is the case with many other 
verbs in the New Testament, 1 Cor. 1 : 20. 3:6. 15: 1. etc. 
There is one thing characteristic of those orientals, who are re- 
duced to the disagreeable necessity of following the vocation of 
mendicants, which is worthy of being mentioned ; they do not ap- 
peal to the pity or to the alms-giving spirit, but to the justice of 
their benefactors, Job 22: 7. 31: 16. Prov. 3: 27, 28. 21: 21. Ps. 
24: 5. Eccles. 4: 1. 14: 13, 14. Matt. 6: 1. Koran 17: 28. 30: 37. 
70: 24. Buxtorf. Lexic. Chal. Talmud. Rabb. p. 1821. 

§ 183. Levitical Defilements. 

The Defilements, which kept a person back not only from sa- 
cred scenes and duties, but from all intercourse with other per- 
sons, were recognized, and had an existence among the Hebrews 
before, as well as after the time of Moses. They had an exist- 
ence in truth, at that very early period, not only among the 
Hebrews, but also among many other nations. If a man were de- 
filed or rendered unclean by disease, it so happened, because the 
disease was considered contagious. Tf he were defiled from any 
other cause, that cause, whatever it might be, was something, 
which was associated with ideas of impurity, with dislike, or ab- 
horrence in the minds of the people. Moses defined more accu- 
rately, than had previously been done, those things to which it 
was the custom to attach the opprobrium of communicating un- 
cleanness ; and in order to increase and perpetuate the separa- 
tion which existed between the Hebrews and the Gentile nations, 
and to render the former less liable to seduction to idolatry, he 



appointed and regulated the ceremonies, by which unclean per- 
sons might be purified and restored back again to the privileges 
of the tabernacle and to the intercourse of friends. If a person, 
who was defiled or unclean, touched another, he rendered the 
other person as unclean as himself, and both were excluded from 
the tabernacle and temple, Lev. 13: 3. 

Those persons, who, according to the Levitical law, were un- 
clean were, 

I. Persons who were afflicted with the leprosy. They were 
not permitted to dwell within the limits of either cities or villages. 
They were clad in a rent and miserable garment, and were com- 
pelled to cry out to every one, whom they met, " Unclean, unclean !" 
Lev. 13: 45. Num. 5: 2. et seq. 

II. The Gonorrhea or seed-jlux, whether benigna or virulen- 
ta, was a source of uncleanness to any person, who was the sub- 
ject of it, Lev. 15: 3. 

III. Whoever had an emissio seminis, even in legitimate in- 
tercourse, was to be unclean till the evening, Lev. 15: 16 — 22. 

IV. Women after the birth of a son were unclean for seven, 
and after the birth of a daughter, for fourteen days. And in case 
the infant was a manchild, they were debarred during the thirty 
three following days from the tabernacle and temple, and from 
the sacrifices ; in case the child was a female, they were thus de- 
barred during the sixty six following days, Lev. 12: 1 — 6. 15: 

V. Women, during the period of the menses, and when labour- 
ing under the disease denominated an issue of blood, were unclean, 
Lev. 15: 19—21. Matt. 9: 20. 

VI. He, who had touched the corpse of a man, or the carcase 
of an animal, a sepulchre, or the bones of a dead person; like- 
wise he, who had been in the tent, or in the room, or house of 
the dying or the dead, were both of them unclean for seven days. 
Priests were rendered unclean by merely wearing the badges of 
mourning; and for that reason they never assumed them, except 
in case of the death of parents, children, brothers, or unmarried 
sisters residing in their father's house. For the same reason, 
viz. the circumstance of their communicating uncleanness, the 
habiliments of mourning were altogether interdicted to the high 
priest, Lev. 5: 2. 11: 8—11, 24—31. 21: 1—5, 10, 11. Num. 19: 





§ 184. Of Diseases generally. 

In the primitive ages of the world, diseases, in consequence of 
the great simplicity in the mode of living, were but few in num- 
ber. At a subsequent period the number was increased, by the 
accession of diseases, that had been previously unknown. Epide- 
mics also, diseases somewhat peculiar in their character and still 
more fearful in their consequences, soon made their appearance, 
some infesting one period of life, and some another, some limiting 
their ravages to one country, and some to another. The proprie- 
ty of this statement in regard to the original extent and subse- 
quent increase of diseases in general, and to epidemics, will re- 
commend itself to every mind, that makes even but small preten- 
sions to attainments in knowledge. 

Prosper Alpinus, in his Book de Medicina Aegyptiaca, Lib. I. 
c. 13. p. 13. mentions the diseases which are prevalent in Egypt, 
and in other countries in the same climate. They are ophthalmies, 
leprosies, inflammations of the brain, pains in the joints, the her- 
nia, the stone in the reins and bladder, the phthisic, hectic, 
pestilential, and tertian fevers, weakness of the stomach, obstruc- 
tions in the liver, and the spleen. Of these diseases, ophthalmies, 
pestilential fevers, and inflammations of the brain are epidemics ; 
the others are of a different character. 

Every region, and every age of the world, has been in the ha- 
bit of attributing certain diseases to certain causes, and of assigning 
names to those diseases, derived from the supposed origin or cause, 
whether it were a real or only an imaginary one. The names 
thus given have been in many instances retained both by the vul- 
gar and by men of medical science, after different causes had been 
developed and assigned to the diseases in question. In respect to 
this subject, we know, that there are certain words of very an- 
cient standing, which are used to express diseases of some kind or 


other ; it will, therefore, be a prominent inquiry with us to learn 
what the diseases are, that were designed to be expressed by those 
words. And in order to clear the way for this inquiry, the re- 
mark may be made here, the truth of which every one will be 
willing to confess, that the ancients were accustomed to attribute 
the origin of diseases, particularly of those, whose natural cause 
they did not understand, to the immediate interference of the De- 
ity. Hence they were denominated by the ancient Greeks 
ficcGTiyig or the scourges of God, a word which is employed in the 
New Testament by the physician Luke himself, chap. 7: 21 ; and 
also in Mark 5: 29, 34. 

§ 185. Disease of the Philistines mentioned in 1 Sam. v. vi. 

The disease of the Philistines, which is mentioned in 1 Sam. 
5: 6, 12. 6: 18. is denominated in the Hebrew D^cy. This word 
occurs likewise in Deut. 28: 27. and it is worthy of remark that it 
is every where explained, in the Keri or marginal readings, by 
the Aramean word cnhtt ; an expression, which in the Syriac 
dialect, where it occurs under the forms fj.— and |^a>^, means 
the fundament, and likewise the effort which is made in an eva- 
cuation of the system. The authors, therefore, of the reading in 
the Keri appear to have assented to the opinion of Josephus, ex- 
pressed in Antiq. VI. 1.1; and to have understood by this word 

the dysentery. The corresponding Arabic words, XJJlC, 
mean a swelling on the anterior part of the verenda in females, 
answering somewhat in its nature to the hernia in men ; a disease, 
consequently, very different from the hemorrhoids, which some 
persons understand to be meant by the word B^?E3»i Among oth- 
er objections, it may also be observed that the mice, which are 
mentioned not only in the Hebrew text, 1 Sam. 6: 5, 12. 16: 18. 
but also in the Alexandrine and Vulgate versions, 1 Sam. 5: 6. 
6: 5, 11, 18. are an objection to understanding the hemorrhoids 
by the word under consideration, since, if that were in fact the 
disease, we see no reason, why mice should have been presented 
as an*offering to avert the anger of the God of Israel. 

Lichtenstein, a writer in Eichhorn's Bibliothek, Band VI. p. 



407 — 466. has given a solution, which is free from the difficulties, 
that attended all preceding ones. The word fi^as'? , which is 
rendered mice, he supposes to mean venomous solpugas, which 
belong to the spider class, and yet are so large, and so similar in 
their form to mice, as to admit of their being denominated by the 
same word. These venomous animals destroy and live upon 
scorpions. They also bite men, whenever they can have an 
opportunity, particularly in the fundament and the verenda. Their 
bite causes swellings, fatal in their consequences, which are call- 
ed in Hebrew aphalim, b^S? , see Pliny, Hist. Nat. Lib. XXIX. 4. 
The probable supposition then is, that solpugas were at this time 
multiplied among the Philistines by the special Providence of God, 
and that, being very venomous, they were the means of destroying 
many individuals. 

§ 186. The Disease of King Jehoram. 

King Jehoram, who was clothed with the double infamy of be- 
ing at once an idolater and the murderer of his brethren, was dis- 
eased internally for two years, as had been predicted by the pro- 
phet Elijah ; and his bowels are said to have fallen out by reason 
of his sickness, 2 Chron. 21: 12 — 15, 18, 19. This disease beyond 
all doubt was the dysentery, and though its continuance so long a 
time was very uncommon, it is by no means a thing unheard of. 
The intestines in time become ulcerated by the operation of this 
disease. Not only blood is discharged from them, but a sort of 
mucous excrement likewise is thrown off, and sometimes small 
pieces of the flesh itself ; so that apparently the intestines are emit- 
ted or fall out, which is sufficient to account for the expressions, 
that are used in the statement of king Jehoram's disease ; Mead, 
Medic. Sacr. c. IV. 

§ 187. False Conception, EvnvtvpaTwoig. 

False conception or pregnancy, in Greek evnvsvfjiaTwaig, in 
Latin mola ventosa, does not appear to have been so unfre- 
quent among the Hebrew women, as among those of Europe. If 
it had been so, it probably would not have made its appearance 
on the pages of Hebrew writers in the shape of a figure of speech. 
The fact, to which I allude, is this. The Hebrews were accus- 


tomed to expect after calamities a state of things quite the reverse, 
viz. a season of prosperity and joy. They accordingly, compar- 
ed a season of misfortune and calamity to the pains of a woman in 
travail, but the better destiny, which followed, they compared to 
the joy, which commonly succeeds childbirth, Is. 13: 8. 26: 17. 
2 K. 19: 3. Jer. 4: 31. 13: 21. 22: 23. 30: 6. Mic. 4: 9, 10. John 
16: 21, 22. But they carry the comparison still further. Those 
days of adversity, which were succeeded by adversity still, those 
scenes of sorrow, which were followed only by additional sorrow, 
were likened to women, who laboured under that disease of the 
system, which caused them to exhibit the appearance and endure 
the pains of a state of pregnancy, when that apparent state of preg- 
nancy resulted either in nothing, or in the parturition of a monster, 
Is. 26: 18. Ps. 7: 14. 

§ 188. Countries where the Leprosy prevails. 

The Leprosy prevails in Egypt, in the southern part of Up- 
per Asia, and in fact may be considered a disease endemic in 
warm climates generally. Accordingly, it is not at all surprising, 
if many of the Hebrews, when they left Egypt, were infected 
with it ; but the assertion of Manetho, that they were all thus in- 
fected, and were in consequence of the infection driven out by 
force, in which he is precipitately and carelessly followed by Stra- 
bo, by Tacitus, by Justin Trogus, and by others more recent, is a 
mere dream, without any adequate foundation. The disease, it is 
true, was a very severe and a very repulsive one, and was re- 
garded by the ancients, as a marked exhibition of the justice and 
the wrath of God. It was denominated by the Hebrews the stroke 
or wound, S^Sm, r)3>^£ 252 , i. e. by supplying the ellipsis, the stroke 
or wound of the Lord, Num. 12: 1 — 10. 2 K. 5: 1, et seq. 15: 5. 
2 Chron. 26: 16, et seq. Herodot. I. 138. But certainly the 
kings of Egypt, who, according to the unanimous testimony of the 
ancients, could correctly estimate the value of a numerous popu- 
lation, acted a strange and unaccountable part, if it be a fact, that 
on account of a disease, which might- be called one of the attri- 
butes of the country and climate, they expelled from the very 
heart of the nation more than two millions of people. 



§ 189. Beginnings and Progress of Leprosy. 

The leprosy exhibits itself on the exteriour surface of the 
skin, but it infects, at the same time, the marrow and the bones ; 
so much so that the furthest joints in the system gradually lose 
their powers, and the members fall together in such a manner, as 
to give the body a mutilated and dreadful appearance. From 
these circumstances, there can be no doubt, that the disease ori- 
ginates, and spreads its ravages internally, before it makes its ap- 
pearance on the external parts of the body. Indeed we have rea- 
son to believe, that it is concealed in the internal parts of the 
system a number of years, for instance, in infants commonly till 
they arrive at the age of puberty, and in adults, as many as three 
or four years, till at last it gives the fearful indications on the 
shin of having already gained a deep-rooted and permanent ex- 

Its progress subsequently to its appearance on the external 
surface of the body is far from being rapid ; in a number of years 
it arrives at its middle, and in a number after to its final state. A 
person, who is leprous from his nativity may live fifty years ; one, 
who in after life is infected with it, may live twenty years, but 
they will be such years of dreadful misery, as rarely fall to the lot of 
man in any other situation. 

The appearance of the disease externally, is not always the 
same. The spot is commonly small, resembling in its appearance 
the small red spot that would be the consequence of a puncture 
from a needle, or the pustules of a ringworm. The spots for the 
most part make their appearance very suddenly, especially if the 
infected person, at the period when the disease shows itself ex- 
ternally, happens to be in great fear, or to be intoxicated with 
anger, Num. 1*2: 10. 2Chron.26: 19. They commonly exhibit 
themselves in the first instance, on the face, about the nose and 
eyes; they gradually increase in size for a number of years, till 
they become, as respects the extent of surface which they em- 
brace on the skin, as large as a pea or bean. They are then called 
nNiz). The white spot or pustule, mrja , morphea alba, and also 
the dark spot, nhSO , morphea nigra, are indications of the exist- 
ence of the real-leprosy, Lev. 13: 2, 39. 14: 56. From these it is 



necessary to distinguish the spot, which, whatever resemblance 
there may be in form, is so different in its effects called Bohak 
prjis , and also the harmless sort of scab, which occurs under the 
word, nh5D73 , Lev. 13: 6—8, 29. 

Moses, in the thirteenth chapter of Leviticus, lays down very 
explicit rules for the purpose of distinguishing between those 
spots, which are proofs of the actual existence of the leprosy, and 
those spots, which are harmless and result from some other cause. 
Those spots which are the genuine effects and marks of the lep- 
rosy, gradually dilate themselves, till at length they cover the 
whole body. Not only the skin is subject to a total destruction, 
but the whole body is affected in every part. The pain it is true, 
is not very great, but there is a great debility of the system, and 
great uneasiness and grief, so much so, as almost to drive the vic- 
tim of the disease to self-destruction, Job 7: 15. 

There are four kinds of the real leprosy. The first kind is of 
so virulent and powerful a nature, that it separates the joints and 
limbs, and mutilates the body in the most awful manner. The 
second is the white leprosy, haHuL The third is the black leprosy 
or Psora, fiTO, nteaa» frns pftip, O^ty neV^, Deut. 28: 

27, 35. Lev. 21: 20—22. The fourth description of leprosy is the 
alopecia, or red leprosy. 

The person, who is infected with the leprosy, however long the 
disease may be in passing through its several stages, is at last ta- 
ken away suddenly, and for the most part unexpectedly. But the 
evils, which fall upon the living leper, are not terminated by the 
event of his death. The disease is to a certain extent hereditary, 
and is transmitted down to the third and fourth generation ; to 
this fact there seems to be an allusion in Exod. 20: 4 — 6. 3: 7. 
Deut. 5: 9. 24: 8, 9. If any one should undertake to say, that in 
the fourth generation it is not the real leprosy, still it will not be 
denied, there is something, which bears no little resemblance to 
it, in the shape of defective teeth, of fetid breath, and a diseased 
hue. Leprous persons, notwithstanding the deformities and mu- 
tilation of their bodies, give no special evidence of a liberation 
from the strength of the sensual passions, and cannot be influenc- 
ed to abstain from the procreation of children, when at the same 
time they clearly foresee the misery, of which their offspring will 
be the inheritors. The disease of leprosy is communicated not 



only by transmission from the parents to the children, and not on- 
ly by sexual cohabitation, but also by much intercourse with the 
leprous person in any way whatever. Whence Moses acted the 
part of a wise legislator in making those laws, which have come 
down to us, concerning the inspection and separation of leprous 
persons. The object of these laws will appear peculiarly worthy, 
when it is considered, that they were designed, not wantonly to 
fix the charge of being a leper upon an innocent person, and thus 
to impose upon him those restraints and inconveniences, which 
the truth of such a charge naturally implies ; but to ascertain in 
the fairest and most satisfactory manner, and to separate those, 
and those only, who were truly and really leprous. As this was 
the prominent object of his laws, that have come down to us on 
this subject, viz. to secure a fair and impartial decision on a ques- 
tion of this kind, he has not mentioned those signs of leprosy, 
which admitted of no doubt, but those only, which might be the 
subject of contention ; and left it to the priests, who also fulfilled 
the office of physicians, to distinguish between the really leprous, 
and those who had only the appearance of being such. In the 
opinion of Hensler, expressed in his Geschichte der abendlandischen 
Aussatzes, p. 273. Moses, in the laws to which we have alluded, 
discovers a great knowledge of the disease. Every species of 
leprosy is not equally malignant ; the most virulent species defies 
the skill and power of physicians. That which is less so, if taken 
at its commencement, can be healed. But in the latter case also, 
if the disease has been of long continuance, there is no remedy. 

Note I. On Bohak as distinct from infectious Leprosy. 

[We find mention, in the rules laid down by Moses for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the true tokens of leprosy, of a cutaneous dis- 
order, which is denominated by hirn bohak pnz, and of which 
there is a slight mention in the above section. It was thought by 
the translator, that it might be interesting to the reader to have 
some further account of this disorder, and he has accordingly in- 
troduced here the answer of Niebuhr, found at page 135 of his 
Description of Arabia, to the inquiry of Michaelis on this subject. 
The words of Moses, which may be found in Leviticus 13: 38, 39, 
are as follows ; " If a man or woman have white spots on the ski?i f 
and the priest see, that the colour of these spots is faint and pale ; it is 


in this case, the Bohak, that has broken out on the shin, and they are 
clean." A person, accordingly, who was attacked with this dis- 
ease, the Bohak, was not declared unclean, and the reason of it 
was, that it is not only harmless in itself, but is free from that in- 
fectious and hereditary character, which belongs to the true lep- 

Says Mr Niebuhr ; " The Bohak is neither infectious nor 
dangerous. A black boy of Mocha, who was attacked with this 
sort of leprosy, had white spots here and there on his body. It 
was said, that the use of sulphur had been for some time of ser- 
vice to this boy, but had not altogether removed the disease." He 
then adds the following extract from the papers of a Dr Foster, 
" May 15th, 1763, I myself saw a case of the Bohak in a Jew at 
Mocha. The spots in this disease are of unequal size. They 
have no shining appearance, nor are they perceptibly elevated 
above the skin ; and they do not change the colour of the hair. 
Their colour is an obscure white or somewhat reddish. The rest 
of the skin of this patient was blacker than that of the people of 
the country in general, but the spots were not so white, as the 
skin of an European when not sunburnt. The spots, in this spe- 
cies of leprosy, do not appear on the hands, nor about the navel, 
but on the neck and face ; not however on that part of the head, 
where the hair grows very thick. They gradually spread, and 
continue sometimes only about two months ; but in some cases, in- 
deed as long as two years, and then disappear, by degrees, of 
themselves. This disorder, is neither infectious nor hereditary, 
nor does it occasion any inconvenience." " That all this," re- 
marks Michaelis, " should still be found exactly to hold at the dis- 
tance of three thousand five hundred years from the time of Mo- 
ses, ought certainly to gain some credit to his laws even with 
those, who will not allow them to be of divine authority," see 
Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, Smith's Translation, Vol. Ill, 
p. 283. art. 210.] 

Note II. On the Leprosy of Guadaloupe. 

[Michaelis, in discussing the subject of leprosies, expresses his 
gratitude to God, that the Lepra Arabum, as it is termed by the 
learned, is known to the physicians of Germany, only from books, 
and by name. But this disease, although it is very unfrequent in 


Europe, indeed almost extinct, made its appearance about the 
year 1730 on the Western Continent, and spread its ravages among 
the sugar islands of the West Indies, particularly Guadaloupe. 
The inhabitants of this island, alarmed and terrified at the intro- 
duction of so pernicious a disorder among them, petitioned the 
Court of France to send to the island, persons qualified to institute 
an inspection of those who laboured under suspicions of being in- 
fected, in order that those who were in fact lepers, might be re- 
moved into lazarettoes. 

31. Peyssonel, who was sent to Guadaloupe on this business, 
writes as follows on the third of February, 1757. " It is now 
about twenty five or thirty years, since a singular disease appear- 
ed on many of the inhabitants of this island. Its commencement 
is imperceptible. There appear only some few white spots on 
the skin, which, in the Whites, are of a blackish red colour, and 
in the Blacks, of a copper red. At first, they are attended nei- 
ther with pain nor any sort of inconvenience ; but no means what- 
ever will remove them. The disease imperceptibly increases, 
and continues for many years to manifest itself more and more. 
The spots became larger, and spread over the skin of the whole 
body indiscriminately ; sometimes a little elevated, though flat. 
When the disease advances, the upper part of the nose swells, the 
nostrils become enlarged, and the nose itself soft. Tumours ap- 
pear on the jaws ; the eye-brows swell : the ears become thick ; 
the points of the fingers, as also the feet and toes, swell ; the nails 
become scaly ; the joints of the hands and feet separate, and drop 
off. On the palms of the hands, and on the soles of the feet, appear 
deep dry ulcers, which increase rapidly, and then disappear again. 
In short, in the last stage of the disease, the patient becomes a 
hideous spectacle, and falls in pieces. These symptoms supervene 
by very slow and successive steps, requiring often many years be- 
fore they all occur. The patient suffers no violent pain, but feels 
a sort of numbness in his hands and feet. During the whole pe- 
riod of the disorder, those afflicted with it, experience no obstruc- 
tions in what are called the Naturalia. They eat and drink as 
usual ; and even when their fingers and toes mortify, the loss of 
the mortified part is the only consequence that ensues ; for the 
wound heals of itself without any medical treatment or applica- 
tion. When, however, the unfortunate wretches come to the last 



period of the disease, they are hideously disfigured, and objects of 
the greatest compassion." 

" It has been remarked, that this ^horrible disorder has, be- 
sides, some very lamentable properties ; as, in the first place, that 
it is hereditary ; and hence some families are more affected with 
it than others : secondly, that it is infectious, being propagated by 
coition, and even by long continued intercourse : and thirdly, that it 
is incurable, or at least no means of cure have hitherto been disco- 
vered. Mercurial medicines, and diaphoretics, and all the usual 
prescriptions and plans of regimen for venereal complaints, have 
been tried, from an idea that the infection might be venereal ; but 
in vain : for instead of relieving, they only hastened the destruc- 
tion of the patients. The medicines serviceable in the lues venerea 
had no other effect than to bring the disease to its acme ; induc- 
ing all its most formidable symptoms, and making those thus treat- 
ed die some years sooner, than other victims to it."] 

§ 190. On the Pestilence, "MfV. 

The Pestilence, in its effects, is equally terrible with the le- 
prosy, and is much more rapid in its progress ; for it terminates the 
existence of those, who are infected with it almost immediately, 
and at the farthest, within three or four days. The Gentiles 
were in the habit of referring back the pestilence to the agency 
and interference of that being, whatever it might be, whether idol 
or spirit, whom they regarded as the divinity. The Hebrews al- 
so every where attribute it to the agency either of God himself, 
or of that legate or angel, whom they denominate . We 

are not, however, to suppose, that the Hebrews, in using these 
expressions, mean to attribute the pestilence to the immediate 
, agency of God; nor would they permit us to understand by the 
messenger, who, they assure us, is the agent in business of 
so disastrous a nature, the true and appropriate angel or legate 
of Jehovah. It is true, they tell us, that God sends forth the pes- 
tilence, and that the angel goes with it and smites the people with 
its power, but let it not be forgotten, that every angel is the 
creature of God, and that, in a certain sense, God is the author of 
all things, and all events, whether prosperous or afflictive, wheth- 
er good or bad. When they make God the author of the pesti- 



lence, it is clear, they do not mean to say, he is the immediate 
cause in so fearful a calamity, from the fact, that, in other places, 
they represent God, as the author of moral evil, where they cer- 
tainly do not mean to say, he is the immediate author of such evil. 
In a somewhat recent period of their history, it cannot be denied, 
that instead of making God the author of evil, they attribute it to 
a malignant spirit of high origin, viz. Satan ; but still they were 
aware of the origin of this being, that he was the creature of God 
and acted beneath his superintendence. The difficulty then in 
regard to their representations arises from this source. God, in a 
certain sense, is the author of all things. This is true. But the 
ancient Hebrews do not appear to have distinguished with sufficient 
accuracy that liberty or permission, which is given us in the 
course of Divine Providence, to do or not to do, to do good or 
evil, from the direct and immediate agency of God himself, Deut. 
4: 19. Josh. 11: 20. 2 Sam. 16: 10. 24: 1. comp. 1 Chron. 21: 1. 
2K. 17: 14. Ps. 78: 49 — 51. In consequence of this disposition 
to identify the agency of God with the actions of his creatures, 
and to confound the original with second and subsidiary causes, we 
find, by consulting the Scriptures, that they sometimes represent 
men, and sometimes animals or inanimate existences, as d^fclbto, 
the messengers, or the angels of God ; and this not only in poetry, 
but likewise in prose, Ps. 34: 7. 104: 4. Heb. 2: 2. Acts 7: 53. 12: 
23. Gal. 3: 19. comp. Josephus, Antiq. XV. 5. 3. 

This mode of speech was so common, that the Sadducees 
of a more recent age, who, although they received the Scrip- 
tures with veneration, denied the existence of any spirits, inter- 
preted all the passages, (where mention is made of angels,) of 
other existences, which were employed by God as instruments, 
and, as they supposed, were, from that circumstance merely, de- 
nominated the messengers, or angels of God. The Samaritans 
likewise, as has been shown by Reland (de Samaritanis, 7 — 9.) gave 
the same perverted interpretation to the word, which is rendered 
angel. This mode of speaking found its way also among the 
Syrians, who were in the habit of calling diseases angels, i. e. mes- 
sengers, that were sent to inflict punishment upon men ; and were 
accustomed to denominate a sick man, one tempted, {. or tried 

of God or of his angel, Assemani Bibl. Orient. T. I. p. 215. comp. 
2 Cor. 12: 7. It is in this way, that the pestilence, (the second- 



ary cause of it being overlooked,) is attributed directly to God, 
Exod. 11: 4—7. 12: 23, 29. comp. Ps. 78: 49, 50 ; also to an an- 
gel, 2 Sam. 24: 15, 16. who is represented as slaying men with a 
sword, and, in IChron. 21: 16. is described with the additional 
circumstance of being elevated between heaven and earth. But 
that God, or the angel in these instances, is merely the pestilence 
itself, the original cause being put for the effect, and being identi- 
fied with it, in a way, which is not common among us, seems to 
be sufficiently clear from 2 Sam. 24: 12, 15. where a pestilence 
with its ordinary and natural attributes is the prominent subject of 
discourse. This view of the subject gives a reason, why the Sep- 
tuagint renders the word ox pestilence, in Psalm 91: 6. by dat- 
fioviov fjitGrwPQivov, i. e. the demon of noon-day ; and why Jona- 
than renders the same word in the Chaldee Targum, Habak. 3: 5. 
by the Chaldee word ^Nirft , angel or messenger. 

We lay it down then, as a general principle, that wherever 
we are told, an angel scatters abroad a pestilence, the pestilence 
merely is meant by such expressions. Apply it for instance to the 
destruction of Sennacherib's army, 2 K. 19:35. comp. 2K. 18: 
23. 19: 6 — 8. In this destruction, an hundred and eighty five 
thousand men perished. We are told, it was done by an angel, 
but we know, this was a common mode of speech, and that all 
natural events and effects were frequently described, as the mes- 
sengers or angels of God. If we seek then for a natural cause, for 
so wide a destruction, we fix immediately upon the pestilence, 
which is most violent in its first attack, and might well have de- 
stroyed the hundred and eighty five thousand Assyrians, if the 
spoils of Egypt, infected with its contagious properties, had been 
scattered through the camp. The idea, that Sennacherib's army 
perished by means of the pestilence, communicated in the way 
above alluded to, or some other, agrees better than any other 
hypothesis, with the fact, that the survivors in that army were 
not aware till the return of the morning light, of the immense num- 
ber, that had died. 

If any one wishes to be informed further concerning the na- 
ture of the pestilence, and the symptoms exhibited by an infected 
person, let him consult the original German edition of this Work, 
T. II. P. I. § 223. pp. 389—397. It will merely be remarked 
here, in reference to those topics, that no one ever recovered 


from the pestilence, unless the boil of the pestilence came out 
upon him. And even then, he could not always be cured, 2 K. 
20: 7. Is. 38: 21. 

[Note. Some liberty has been taken with the Latin of the 
above section, owing to its great conciseness and consequent obscu- 
rity. Having, however, examined the German edition, the transla- 
tor has given what he supposes to be the meaning of Dr. Jahn. 
On the sentiments conveyed in this section, this remark may be 
proposed for the consideration of the reader. If we admit, that the 
Hebrews sometimes spoke of winds, fires, and diseases, as messen- 
gers, ministers, or angels, as for instance some critics have maintain- 
ed in Ps. 104: 4. compared with Ps. 14S: 8. it is still a question, on 
which many persons will feel themselves at liberty to dissent from 
our author, Whether he ought not to have limited his view of the 
usus loquendi under consideration to the poetical parts of the 
scriptures ? 

Nothing is more obvious than that poetry has its appropriate 
hermeneutica, and what would be a very reasonable and correct 
interpretation of certain expressions in poetical description, does 
not necessarily hold good in prose. Accordingly, a serious objec- 
tion might be made to receiving the accounts, given in 2 Sam. 24: 
16. and 2 K. 19: 35. which are unadorned historical statements, in 
any other than their most plain and obvious meaning.] 

§ 191. The Disease of Saul and Nebuchadnezzar. 

The position, which we have endeavoured to defend in the 
preceding section, that diseases and events of rare occurrence, 
and, we may add here, events likewise of daily occurrence, were 
attributed by the ancient Hebrews to God, or to some angel, as 
his messenger, throws light upon many passages of Scripture. 

A person, who understands the extent and the proper bearing 
of that principle, will readily see, that the spirit of God, FTW h=n , 
which departed from Saul, was no other, than an upright and a 
generous tendency of mind ; and that the evil spirit from the Lord, 
which beset and filled him with terror, fpfp ntftt M:p ftsn 1 Sam. 
16: 14, 15. 18: 10. 19: 9. was a sort of madness, which had the ef- 
fect of deceiving him into the idea, that he was a prophet ; for it 


seems, that he prophesied, CG£n*r, and, in all probability, pre- 
dicted the loss of his own kingdom. The Targum of Jonathan, 
accordingly renders the word N2:m, he was mad ox insane. This 
evil spirit, in a word, was not more a spirit or messenger from 
God, than the evil spirit, which, in Judges 9: 23. is said to have 
been sent by him among the Shechemites ; and which, certainly, as 
was evident even to the ancient interpreters, and has been since 
to every body else, was nothing more, than the spirit of strife and 
dissension. In the same way, the spirit of fornication, tr?*\ 
f:^:7 in Hosea 4: 12. is merely lust ; compare 1 Sam. 11:6. 16: 14. 
Judg! 3: 10. 6: 34. 11: 29. 14: 6. Ps. 51: 11. Ezek. 11: 19. 18: 
31. This representati6n more than any other is suitable to the fact, 
that Saul was benefitted by music ; for the charms of music, 
however great its efficacy in any other case, would have been 
very incompetent to the task of subduing the untractable spirit of a 
real demon. 

This mode of speaking did not originate, as some have sup- 
posed, in the time of the captivity, from the doctrine held by the 
Mehestani, although it undoubtedly at that time became more 
common, and was used with greater latitude, than at any previous 
period. For, agreeably to this mode of speech and to the belief 
on which it is founded, viz. the subordinate agency of angels, we 
find mention made in Daniel 4: 10, 14, 20, [consult Michaelis' 
edition of the Hebrew Bible,] of d**^ or star-watchers. The de- 
signs or the decrees of these M holy watchers," as they are term- 
ed, which are made known to Nebuchadnezzar in his vision, and 
are stated in the verses above mentioned, are referred by Daniel 
in the twenty eighth verse of the same chapter to the immediate 
agency of God himself ; a circumstance, which is altogether con- 
formable to what has been already stated, in this, and the preced- 
ing section, on this subject. 

The disease of Nebuchadnezzar, mentioned in this chapter, was 
that of insanity or madness. His mind was in such a state, his 
reasoning powers were so perverted and deranged, that it ap- 
peared to him, as if he heard a voice from heaven, declaring his 
expulsion from the kingdom ; and he imagined, that he was real- 
ly transformed into a beast. Accordingly he acknowledges, in 
the fourth chapter, verses 31, 33, that he had again received the use 
of his reason ; which is an evidence, that he understood the disease, 
from which he had recovered, to have been insanity. 




§ 192. Respecting Demoniacs. 

The inquiry respecting the Demoniacs, who are so often in- 
troduced in the New Testament, and likewise in the writings of 
profane authors of antiquity, is a very intricate and a very difficult 
one. There are some persons, who contend, that the demoniacs 
were all of them either madmen, epileptics, or persons subject 
to melancholy ; and they make their appeal in behalf of their 
opinions to physicians. They, accordingly, in their interpretation 
of those expressions, which are employed in reference to demo- 
niacs, go on the principle, that the sacred writers meant by them 
the same and nothing more, than would be naturally meant, in 
case the possessed persons were merely the subjects of those dis- 

Other persons, both theologians and physicians, have strong 
objections to this view of the subject. In their estimation, the ex- 
pressions in the New Testament clearly imply, that the demoni- 
acs were possessed by an evil spirit ; and this state of things, 
they suppose, was permitted in the providence of God, in order 
to give to the Saviour an opportunity to exhibit his miraculous 

We have no disposition at present to exhibit ourselves, as par- 
tisans in this controversy, and shall only endeavour to give an 
impartial statement of the arguments on both sides, so as to leave 
the reader in a condition to form his own opinion. 

§ 193. Demoniacs were possessed with a devil. 

It will be our object, in the first place, to state the arguments 
in favour of the opinion, that the Demoniacs were really possessed 
with a devil. They are as follows ; 

I, They expressed themselves in a way, which is not done 
by epileptic, melancholy, or insane persons, as in Matt. 8: 28. 
Luke 8: 27. Mark 5: 7. They possessed the supernatural power 
of sundering all sorts of cords and chains. They requested of 
Jesus not to torment them. They answered with propriety ques- 
tions, which were proposed to them. Demons departed from them 
and entered into swine. Certainly it cannot be said in reference 


to this particular, that madness or melancholy, the mere phren- 
sy or wanderings of the brain went out of the possessed persons in- 
to the herd. The supposition, which some make, that the swine 
were driven into the sea by the demoniacs, is destitute of all pro- 
bability. They would have stood a much better chance of being 
driven in many more directions than one, by persons of such an 
undisciplined and irrational character ; especially as they were two 
thousand in number. 

II. No symptoms of disease are mentioned in the case of the 
dumb demoniac, introduced in Matt. 9: 32. and Luke 11: 14. nor 
in that of the dumb and blind demoniac, spoken of in Matt. 12: 
22. The possessed persons, therefore, in both of these instances 
were in a sound state of body and health, with this exception mere- 
ly, that the devil, (for this certainly could not have been done by 
epilepsy, melancholy, or madness) obstructed their organs of speech 
and vision. 

III. It is admitted, that the circumstances attending the case 
of the lunatic, in Matthew 17: 15. are such as would be expect- 
ed in the case of a person afflicted with the epilepsy ; but then 
it should be particularly noticed, that the effects in this instance, 
as well as in others, are attributed to the agency of the devil. 

IV. We are informed, that the damsel of Philippi, Acts 16: 16. 
practised divination, which evidently could not have been done 
by a mad or deranged person. We must conclude, therefore, that 
she was under the influence of an evil spirit. 

V. The demoniacs themselves say, that they are possessed 
with a devil. The Jews of the New Testament, who happened 
to be concerned on account of their relationship to the person, or 
in any other way, in a case of demoniacal possession, assert the 
same thing. The apostles likewise and evangelists allege, that 
persons possessed with demons, were brought to Jesus, and that 
the demons departed at his command, Matt. 4: 24. 7: 22. 9: 33. 
12:28. Mark 1:32, 39. 9:25. Luke 4: 41. 8:2,30,38. 9:49. 
11: 14. Jesus himself asserts, that he casts out devils, Luke 11: 
19. Matt. 12: 27, 28. 

VI. The sacred writers make an express distinction between 
demoniacs, and the sick ; and likewise between the exorcism of 
demons, and the healing of the sick, Mark 1: 32. Luke 6: 17, 18. 
7: 21. 8: 2. 13: 32. Demoniacs, therefore, were not persons af- 
flicted with diseases, in the way that has been supposed. 


VII. Demoniacs knew, what madmen, insane persons, epilep- 
tics, and melancholy men could not of themselves know, viz. that 
Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Son of David, 
etc. Mark 1: 24. 5: 7. Matt. 8: 29. Luke 4: 34. 

VIII. Jesus speaks to the demons and asks them their name : 
and we find, that they answer him. He also threatens them, com- 
mands them to be silent, to depart, and not to return, Mark 1: 25. 
5: S. 9: 25. Matt. 8: 29—31. Luke 4: 35. 8: 30—32. 

IX. When the seventy disciples returned from their labours, 
one prominent cause of their joy, was that the devils, when the 
name of Christ was pronounced, obeyed them. Jesus answered 
then), as follows, in Luke 10: 18 ; " / beheld Satan, as lightning 
fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on ser- 
pents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and noth- 
ing shall by any means hurt you ; notwithstanding , in this rejoice 
not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because 
your names are icritten in heaven" 

X. When the Saviour was accused by the Pharisees of cast- 
ing out devils by the aid of Beelzebub, he replied, that the king- 
dom, the city, or the family, in which were dissensions and dis- 
cords, would of itself perish ; and that consequently, if there were 
such discords in the kingdom of Satan, as to induce one devil to 
exert his power in the expulsion of another, it could not long exist. 
To these things, he immediately adds ; " If I by Beelzebub cast 
out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out ? Therefore, they 
shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the spirit of God, 
(by divine power or a miracle,) then the kingdom of God is come un- 
to you. Or chc how can one enter into a strong man's house, and 
spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man ? and then he will 
spoil his house;' Matt. 12: 25, 28. Mark 3: 23—25. Luke 11: 

XI. Jesus makes the following remarks in respect to the demons 
or evil spirits in Matt. 12:43. and in Luke 11:24. " When the un- 
clean spirit is gone out of a man, he icalketh through dry places, seek- 
ing rest but finding none. He saith, I will return to my house, ichence 
I came out. And when he cometh, hefindeth it swept and garnished; 
then goeth he and taketh seven other spirits more wicked than himself; 
and they enter in and dwell there, and the last state of that man is 
worse than the first." It is very clear, that a person would not nat- 
urally understand expressions of this kind in respect to a disease. 



XII. The woman in Luke 13: 11, who was bowed down with 
the spirit of infirmity, is said by the Saviour in the sixteenth verse, 
to have been bound by Satan. The Apostle Peter, in like man- 
ner, asserts in Acts 10: 38, that all, who had been oppressed with 
the devil, %uTadvvaGTZvof.itvovg vno zov diafiolov, were healed by 
Jesus of Nazareth, the anointed of God. 

XIII. The wonderful miracles of Jesus will appear of but com- 
paratively little importance and little worth, if it should be admit- 
ted, that he did not actually cast out devils, but merely healed 
diseases. The Church Fathers, accordingly, embraced, without 
any dissenting voice, the opinion, that the persons, of whom we 
have been speaking, were really possessed with demons, and the 
Church itself, in accordance with this opinion, instituted an order 
of persons, called exorcists. 

§ 194. General view of the opposite Argument. 

Those who maintain, that demoniacs were epileptic, melan- 
choly, insane, or mad persons, commence their arguments, with 
referring back to a very early period. They endeavour to prove 
by induction from various instances, which they conceive to be to 
the point, and by a multitude of quotations from Greek, Roman 
and Jewish writers, that the demons, to whom diseases are attri- 
buted as the agents, are not the 6 dia(io\og of the New Testa- 
ment, (the evil spirit in an emphatic and peculiar sense ;) but 
that they are the spirits of dead men, who had died by a violent 
death, particularly of such, as were known to have sustained bad 
characters while living. Demoniacs, therefore, according to the 
hypothesis of these persons, were men, who were afflicted with 
some disease mental or bodily, but who were generally suppos- 
ed by the people to be possessed and agitated by these spirits, 
the same as if they had been haunted by furies ; compare the 
large German edition of this Work, P. I. Vol. II. § 227—229. p. 
411 — 454. They take the ground, therefore, that Jesus, the 
apostles, and the writers of the New Testament, if they wished 
to be understood by those, for whom their writings were intended, 
were under the necessity of attaching the same meaning to the 
word demons, which was attached to it by their contemporaries, 




Having taken this position, they endeavour to confirm their sen- 
timents by saying further, 

I. That the symptoms, exhibited by demoniacs, as stated in the 
New Testament, are the same with those, which are exhibited by 
men in epilepsy, hypochondria, insanity, and madness. 

II. That the sacred writers give intimations in various places, 
that they use the words demon and demons, solely because they 
were in common circulation at that period ; and are, accordingly, 
to be considered, as merely accommodating themselves to the lan- 
guage in common use, and not as professedly teaching or denying 
the agency attributed to evil spirits. 

III. That the real operation of departed spirits upon living 
men is inconsistent with the doctrine of Christ and his apostles ; 
and of course they could not mean, by the phrases and passages in 
question, such operations. 

These three points, they endeavour to illustrate and confirm 
by various arguments, of which we shall proceed to give an enume- 

§ 195. Symptoms in demoniacs the same with those in Dis- 
eased Persons. 

The opposers of the doctrine of the real agency of evil spi- 
rits in the case of demoniacs proceed to state, in the first place, 
that, in the time of Christ, demoniacs in other countries were fre- 
quently restored by a resort to medical prescriptions. It is not at 
all rational to suppose, that demoniacs thus restored were actually 
possessed with the spirits of the dead, in as much as such spirits 
could not have been expelled by mere medical art. They were, 
therefore, merely diseased or sick persons in the ordinary sense of 
the words. The symptoms in these men were the same with those 
of the persons mentioned in the New Testament, viz. the ordinary 
symptoms of epilepsy, insanity, and hypochondria. The demoni- 
acs, consequently, of the New Testament, as we have the utmost 
ground for inferring, were no other than sick men, since the symp- 
toms they actually exhibited are such, as they would have exhibit- 
ed, in case they had been afflicted with the diseases above mention- 
ed, and nothing more. And these diseases, let it be remembered, 
are attributed to spirits or demons so called, merely on account of 
the prevailing opinions and belief of the people. 




L The two Gadarenes, Matt. 8: 28, et seq. of whom only the 
more conspicuous and celebrated one, (viz. the one, who after his 
recovery prayed Christ, " that he might be with him," i. e. might 
be his follower or disciple,) is mentioned in Mark 5: 2. and Luke 
8: 27. were deranged persons or madmen, who were impressed with 
the idea, that there were within them innumerable spirits of dead 
men. They, accordingly, dwelt amid the sepulchres of the buried, 
went naked, were ungovernable, cried aloud, beat themselves, and 
attacked those who passed by. Such things are characteristic of 
mad men. The great power which one of them possessed, and 
which enabled him to burst asunder bonds and chains, is not un- 
frequently witnessed in persons, who have lost their reason. Both 
Mark (chap. 5: 15,) and Luke (chap. 8: 35,) mention that the Ga- 
darenes found this demoniac after he had been restored by Jesus, 
awcpQOvovvxa, i. e. in his rigid mind; which is a clear intimation, 
that he was previously destitute of reason. 

It is true, these men address Jesus as the Son of God, i. e. the 
Messiah, and ask him not to torment them ; but this circumstance 
can be accounted for on the supposition, that they had heard, as 
they undoubtedly had, in those lucid intervals, which are granted 
to many insane persons, that Jesus, whose fame, (Matt. 4: 24.) had 
already extended as far as Syria, was regarded as the Messiah. 

They evidently betray their insanity by saying, they were de- 
vils without number, and by beseeching Jesus not to drive them in- 
to the sea, but to permit them to enter into the swine, which were 
feeding near. Certainly none but the professed advocates of real 
demoniacal possession would suppose, that an actual demon or de- 
vil would select such an habitation, as that. It is admitted, that 
Jesus, (Mark 5: 8.) commands the unclean spirit to depart. But 
does this prove any thing ? The spirit was called unclean, because 
it was supposed to be the spirit of one dead, and was unclean of 
course. It was commanded to depart, merely that the attention of 
the people present might be excited, and that they might have 
ample opportunity to notice the miracle, wrought in favor of the 
unfortunate maniac. It was not the demons, but, as in Acts 19: 
16. the madmen themselves, who impetuously attacked the herd 



of swine, and drove them down the steep into lake Gennesareth, 
Mark and Luke, in conformity with the common mode of speech, 
represent the demons, as going from madmen, and entering in- 
to the swine ; for it was the custom to attribute to the agency of the 
supposed demons, whatever was done by the demoniacs them- 
selves ; comp. Matt. 9: 32. Luke 11: 14. 13: 11, see also the large 
German edition of this Work, P. I. Vol. II. §231. p. 464. That 
the swine, being a fearful animal, and running with great speed, 
as they naturally would, before pursuers of such a peculiar char- 
acter, should have plunged in considerable numbers into the lake 
and perished, is by no means strange or incredible. We say in 
considerable numbers, because the expressions which are used, 
leave us at liberty to suppose, that some of the herd escaped. 
The meaning is that the expressions are not to be too literally 
interpreted, (ad vivum resecandum.) Nor is it, moreover, any thing 
very extraordinary, that these men paid a sort of homage and 
reverence to the Redeemer, of whose miracles and greatness they 
had heard ; since there are not wanting instances of madmen, who 
both fear and exhibit a degree of respect to certain persons. 

II. The dumb man, mentioned in Matt. 9: 32. and in Luke 
11: 14. and the man, who was both dumb and blind in Matt. 12: 
22. were likewise insane, or at least melancholy persons. It is 
proper to remark here, in explanation of our thus coupling to- 
gether these two classes of mental diseases, that insanity, and 
melancholy or hypochondria, as the experience of physicians suf- 
ficiently proves, are nearly allied to and often accompany each 
other. That the first mentioned of these persons was afflicted 
with one of these maladies, which in that age were attributed to 
the agency of demons, appears from the fact, that Luke, (chap. 11: 
14,) calls the devil a dumb one, while the parallel passage in Matt. 
9: 32. represents the man himself as dumb. 

III. The youth, who in Matt. 17: 15. is called a lunatic 
from his childhood, and who in Luke 9: 38 — 40. was seized and 
torn, while uttering cries of woe, by an evil spirit of such [perse- 
vering cruelty, as to be unwilling to suspend the exercise^of his 
vengeance even after the victim had already severely and cruelly 
suffered, and who, furthermore, is said in Mark •& 17. to have 
had an unclean spirit, to have fallen with great outcries, sometimes 
upon the earth, sometimes into water, and sometimes into fire, to 



have foamed at the mouth and to have gnashed his teeth, was 
evidently an epileptic person. It will give us some idea of the 
prevalent notions anciently in respect to the epilepsy, when it is 
remarked, that Hippocrates wrote a book, the object of which was 
to show, that epilepsy was not a sacred malady, i. e. a malady 
sent from some superior power or Divinity. The epithet, never- 
theless, which he is in the habit of applying to this disease?in this 
book, is that of sacred. 

IV. The maid of Philippi, who in Acts, 16: 16. is said to have 
possessed the spirit of Python, i. e. the spirit of Apollo, nvevpct 
nv&covog, was insane. The ground of the assertion, that was 
made in respect to her, was the fact, that she cherished, as would 
not be unnatural in the case of insanity, a firm persuasion, that 
she was possessed with some spirit from the dead, that was com- 
missioned by Apollo. As the gift of prophecy among thefheathen, 
(if we may credit the assertion of Cicero in his Treatise on Divi- 
nation, Ernesti's edit. 1. 5. p. 661,) was always attributed to the 
agency of Apollo ; insane persons, who professed ? to prophesy un- 
der his auspices, were in a situation to make much money ; which 
was the case in the present instance. It is not by any means to be 
supposed, that the predictions of the damsel or any other predic- 
tions of a like character, were true prophesies, for such were beyond 
the power of Apollo, who was regarded as "nothing" in estima- 
tion of Paul, to utter or to communicate. Many other demoni- 
acs, who are mentioned, but the symptoms or rather operations of 
whose disease are not particularly given, are to be reckoned among 
those, who were insane ; for example, Mary Magdalene, from 
whom, (Luke 8: 2,) Jesus cast out seven devils, i. e. restored her 
from a madness of so violent a nature, that it was supposed to be 
caused by the united agency of this large number of the spirits of 
the dead. If the Saviour commanded the demoniacs not to make 
him known, the reason was, that their declaration of the subject 
would do more hurt than good, Mark 1: 24. Luke 4: 34. Matt. 8: 
29. Mark 5: 7. 

V. Whether the expulsion of actual demons from a person, 
or the healing of epileptics, madmen, and hypochondriacs be the 
greater and most striking miracle, in the present argument, it is 
of but little consequence to decide. To those, however, who de- 
ny in this case the actual agency of demons, the healing of these 


maladies appears a more impressive exhibition of miraculous 
power than the ejection of demons, which was likewise done, as 
the advocates of the opposite opinion will themselves admit, by 

§ 196. The Apostles, Evangelists, and Christ regarded. 
Demoniacs as diseased Persons. 

The apostles and evangelists, it is contended, whether they 
are introduced as speaking, or whether they appear as the authors 
of a narration, employ those expressions, which in their time were 
in common use. Hence, as was very natural, they make use of 
such phraseology as the following ; " Demoniacs came to Jesus" 
" Demoniacs were brought to Jesus" " They were possessed with 
demons" " The demons were cast out" " They departed from or 
entered into a person" fyc. If it be inquired what they really un- 
derstood by such expressions, the answer is this. 

Similar expressions were used in respect to madness or insani- 
ty in that age, even in cases, where there could be no doubt in re- 
spect to the natural cause of it, i. e. a man might lose his reason in 
some way or by some accident, which was perfectly well understood, 
and still, as much as in any other case, the loss of his reason was 
attributed to the agency of a demon. That was the common mode 
of speaking. Furthermore, demons were spoken of in reference to 
diseases, in the same way that Bacchus among the Greeks was used 
tropically for wine, and Ceres for corn. It cannot be inferred, 
therefore that Jesus, the apostles, and evangelists supposed, that 
those persons, who were represented as possessed, were in reality 
possessed with demons or the spirits of the dead. It cannot be in- 
ferred, we contend, the more especially, because they often give in- 
timations of a contrary opinion, as will appear from the following 

Argument I. The evangelists often introduce demoniacs among 
sick men, as a separate class of sick, Matt. 4: 23, 24. 10: 8. Mark 
1: 32. Luke 4: 40, 41. 5: 15. 8: 2. 9: I. 13: 32 ; and, what is wor- 
thy of notice, all classes of sick persons, many of whom are never 
described by the evangelists as being subject to demoniacal posses- 
sions, are represented in Acts 10: 38. without any exception, as be- 
ing oppressed with the devil, xaTudvvccOTSvopevoi vno tov diupo- 


Xov. From this it clearly appears, that, in the view of the sacred 
writers, to be a sick person, and to be a demoniac or vexed with the 
devil, (i. e. with the subordinate agents of the devil, the spirits of 
the wicked dead,) were only different expressions for the same 
thing. The evangelists, it should be remarked in addition, in 
some instances comprehend demoniacs under the head of sick 
and diseased persons, when, without expressly mentioning them, 
they describe in general terms those to whom the Saviour gave 
assistance. That is to say ; when enumerating those, who had ex- 
perienced the healing power of the Saviour, they did not deem it 
necessary particularly to mention demoniacs in distinction from 
the rest, because they did not conceive, there was any thing suf- 
ficiently peculiar in their cases to render it necessary always to 
make this distinction, since they might conveniently and justly be 
considered as comprehended, (even when not expressly mention- 
ed,) in a general catalogue of those maladies, which men were 
subject to, and which the Saviour had healed, Luke 7: 21, 22. Matt. 
11:5. On the contrary, the Evangelists certainly would not have 
omitted the mention of them in such an enumeration, which was 
designed as a statement of what the Saviour had done in relieving 
the bodily woes of men, if they had supposed the demoniacs to 
be sound and in good health with the exception, that they were 
possessed with a devil ; because in this case, their situation and 
recovery would have been so peculiar, as to have demanded a 
distinct specification. The sacred historians frequently say, that 
the demoniacs were made whole, or restored, which is an intima- 
tion at least, that they were previously diseased, Matt. 6: 16. 12: 
22. Luke 7: 21. 8:2. 9: 42. Luke especially, (chap. 11: 14.) when 
speaking of a dumb spirit, and when describing the spirit of infirm- 
ity, (chap. 13: 11,) could not certainly mean to be understood, as 
speaking of a real spirit, but merely of a disease, or of some defect 
in the bodily organs. If, moreover, Luke, who was a physician, uses 
such expressions as these, viz. to heal, to be healed from spirits, to 
heal those oppressed with a devil ; if he uses such expressions in re- 
ference to demoniacal possessions, it is clear, we are to understand 
possessions in Ms language to mean the same with diseases, and 
nothing more, consult Luke 7: 21. 8: 2. and Acts 10: 38. 

Not only the evangelists themselves, but the Jews also, who 
are introduced as speaking in the gospels use the words dat^imv 

224 § 196. opinion of christ, the apostles, etc. 

and daifiopiov tropically, (the same as profane writers,) when 
they speak of insanity, hypochondria, and natural madness, Matt. 
11: 18. Luke 7: 33. John 7: 19, 20. 10: 20. Furthermore, in Mark 
3: 21, 22, £ i£tOTi] he is beside himself is interchanged with BeeXfe- 
§ov\ t%u he hath a devil. It can be shown also, that the word 
demon is interchanged in the same way with the words, which sig- 
nify disease or^ sickness, as if they were altogether synonymous, 
comp. Mark 7:^29. and Matt. 15: 22 — 28 ; compare also Mark 9: 17. 
with Luke|9: 39. also Matt. 17: 15. and Luke 13: 10—12. 

Argument II. John, it is true introduces the Jews, as speaking 
in the customary way in respect to demoniacs and demons, (chap. 
7: 9 — 20. 10: 20.) but let it be carefully marked, that he himself 'is 
altogether silent on the subject of demoniacal possessions, notwith- 
standing that he frequently speaks of the sick, who were healed 
by the Saviour, 4: 46. 5: 3. 6: 2. Paul also, in enumerating the 
various kinds of miraculous gifts, (1 Cor. 12: 9.) says nothing in re- 
spect to the exorcism of demons ; a power which it appears, he 
possessed himself, and which the Saviour had promised, Mark 16: 
17. Matt. 10: 8. Luke 10: 17. These two apostles therefore, con- 
sidered demoniacs as no other than persons afflicted with disease ; 
and it was very natural indeed, that it should be so, when it is re- 
membered, that, in Asia Minor, where John composed his gospel, 
and Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians, medical science 
was in a very flourishing condition, and it was very generally known, 
that the diseases, attributed to demons, were merely natural diseas- 
es, comp. the large German edit, of this Work, P. I. Vol. II. 232. 
pp. 477—480. 

If, therefore, it be objected against us, that the demoniacs in the 
New Testament acknowledge themselves to be possessed with de- 
mons, we reply, that nothing else was to be expected from madmen. 
If it be further objected, that the Jews of the New Testament are 
in the habit of speaking of such possessions, it must be admitted 
by our opponents, either that this was the usus loquendi in respect 
to diseases, the common language to describe the causes and effects 
of certain bodily maladies, without any particular belief, that those 
maladies originated from the agency of spirits, or that the Jews ac- 
tually believed in real possessions. 

If, moreover, we are told, that both the apostles themselves 
and the evangelists inform us, that demoniacs came to Jesus, or 


were brought and were healed ; that Jesus also says, that he casts 
out devils : the answer is, the ground of these expressions was the 
common mode of speaking, prevailing at that period ; and Jesus, 
the apostles, and evangelists made use of such expressions, when 
they spoke of hypochondria, insanity, epilepsy, and madness, in 
order to be understood by their hearers and readers. Nearly in 
the same way physicians of the present time denominate a cer- 
tain class of sick persons lunatics, i. e. persons under the influence 
of the moon, and tell us of St. Anthony's fire, and the night mare, 
although the true causes of these diseases are well known. Some- 
thing in the same way also, it is customary every where to speak 
of the sun's setting and rising, and to designate certain of the 
heavenly bodies as planets or wandering- stars, although it is not 
philosophically true, either that the sun sets or rises, or that the 
planets describe that wandering, irregular path in the heavens, 
which they appear to, to an uninstructed eye. 

If, finally, it be said, that the diseases of demoniacs are some- 
times distinguished from those of other persons, the reason of it 
is, that these diseases, viz. melancholy, insanity, epilepsy, and 
madness, are in some respects peculiar, and are healed with diffi- 
culty ; and hence the curing of them by a single word of the Saviour 
was a matter of the greater moment. 

Argument III. It is admitted, that Jesus apparently speaks to 
the demons, threatens them, commands them to be silent, orders 
them to depart and not to return, Mark 1: 24. 5: 8. 9: 25. Matt. 8: 
28. Luke 4: 35. 8: 30 — 32. But it may be remarked in explana- 
tion of this, that he has reference partly to the persons themselves, 
whom he commands to be silent and whom he threatens, and part- 
ly to the disease, which he orders to depart and not to return. 
Paul, in the same manner, (Acts 16: 16.) addresses the spirit of 
Apollo, and commands him in the name of Jesus to depart from 
the soothsaying damsel ; and yet, as we may learn from 1 Cor. 8: 4. 
he had not the least faith in Apollo, nor in any other god beside 
Jehovah. Nor are we at liberty so suppose, that Luke, the histori- 
an of the Acts, who subjoins to the account, of which we have now 
spoken, that the spirit left her, believed at all, that the spirit of 
Apollo was really present. The reason, why Paul and the Saviour 
made use of such expressions on such an occasion, was, that they 
might excite the attention of the bystanders, and give them to un- 



derstand, that the disease had terminated at their command. It 
was for a reason of the same nature, viz. to make an impression 
on the minds of those present, that the Saviour, when the tem- 
pest was overruled and laid by his miraculous interference, com- 
manded in an audible manner the winds and the seas to be at rest. 
Let those, who inquire, how Jesus could call the demon by name, 
if he did not believe one to be present, read the Greek text of Mark 
5: 9. and of Luke 8: 30. and they will see, that it is not the demon, 
which is addressed by name, but the demoniac himself, (fjr^curce 
avxov, i. e. av&gumov, not avvo, i.e. nvtvpa.) 

Jesus, in Luke 10: 17. does not assert the operations of demons 
in men, for he couples Satan with serpents and scorpions, which 
places us under the necessity of interpreting all of these words 
tropically, and of understanding by them cunning and powerful 
adversaries, who opposed the progress of the Gospel, but with 
all their power were unable to interrupt its advancement. The 
expressions, which he employs, are as follows. " 1 see," Hebrew 
W&p, "Satan," i.e. all the adversaries of the gospel, who 
are afterwards called serpents, scorpions, and the enemy's host, 
" fall like lightning from heaven," i. e. from the political heaven, 
from power and authority. Consult Is. 14: 12,13. Matt. xxiv. Luke 
10: 15. Rev. 12: 7 — 9. see also Cicero, where he says to Mark An- 
tony, you have hurled your colleagues down from heaven. (The ad- 
versaries of the gospel also occur in Luke 22: 31. under the name 
of Satan.) " Behold," he proceeds, "I give unto you power to 
tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the ene- 
my," i. e. of overcoming and subduing by your miraculous gifts all 
adversaries, " and nothing shall by any means hurt you," i. e. oppress 
and overcome you, (comp. udtxtjoy with the Hebrew p'^jy.) " Not- 
withstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto 
you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven," 
i. e. rejoice rather in the favour of God, than in the power of cast- 
ing out devils, or of healing the most difficult diseases. 

Jesus, in Matt. 12: 24—30. Mark 3: 22—30. Luke 11: 16—24. 
employs against the Pharisees the argumentum ad ho.minem, 
which has no bearing in this case any further than the refutation 
of the adversary is concerned. The ground of his employing this 
species of argument in the present instance was this. The Pha- 
risees, if we may believe Josephus, taught that the demons, by 


which men were possessed, were the spirits of bad men, who 
were dead, and were commissioned on their present business of 
tormenting the children of men by Beelzebub. Jesus, therefore, 
replied, provided this were the true state of the case, that Beel- 
zebub, by lending his assistance in casting out his own devils, was 
overturning his own kingdom. He then adds, that this powerful 
spirit, for such the Pharisees supposed him to be, could not be 
compelled to perform such an unwelcome task, unless a stronger 
one, than Beelzebub himself, should first come, should bind him, 
and take away his arms. 

The parable in Matt. 12: 43—45. and Luke 11: 24—28. is to 
be interpreted with a reference to the explanation, at the end, 
viz. " so shall it be with this wicked generation" The demons in 
these passages are the vices of the Jews, which had been in some 
little degree, corrected by the preaching of John the Baptist and 
the Saviour, but which soon after developed themselves with great- 
er virulence, and to a greater extent than ever, as Josephus testi- 
fies was the case in the time of the War with the Romans ; comp. 
the large German edition of this work, P. I. Vol. II. § 232. p. 490, 

Finally, Jesus liberates the woman, described in Luke 13: 12. 
as bowed down with infirmity, without making any mention of a 
demon ; if, therefore, a little after, he asserts, that she was a 
daughter of Abraham, bound by Satan for eighteen years, the 
expressions are to be considered as figurative, being an allusion 
to the loosing of oxen, which it was lawful to do on the sabbath in 
order to lead them to drink, and having reference at the same 
time to an opinion among the Jews, that all diseases had their 
ultimate origin, (not indeed from demons,) but from the devil, that 
overruling spirit of wickedness, who tempted Eve, and to whom al- 
lusions are made in Acts 10: 38. and in 2 Cor. 12: 7. 

Argument IV. That the church Fathers unanimously agreed 
in the opinion, that individuals, in the time of Christ, were really 
and truly possessed with demons, those, who maintain that De- 
moniacs were diseased persons, plainly and expressly deny. 
They produce testimonies to the contrary. They assert, more- 
over, that, in point of policy, the church fathers would not have 
thought it advisable, to have made such assertions, as are repre- 
sented, since they were contending incessantly with philosophers, 



who believed in, and strenuously contended for the agency of de- 
mons. They say further, that nothing is gained or lost, even if 
the fathers were unanimous in one opinion, since, this is not a ques- 
tion of faith or doctrine, in which alone the united sentiment of 
the Fathers can be considered, as possessing a binding authority. 
They deny also, that it can be concluded from the fact, that a 
class or order of persons, called exorcists, existed in the primitive 
ages of the church, that the church itself believed in the real agen- 
cy of demons ; since the popular superstitions on the subject might 
have been, as no doubt they were, the ground of such an institution, 
see Veronius In Regul. Fid. § 4. no. 4. 

§ 197. Real Possessions inconsistent with the Doctrine of 
Jesus and the Apostles. 

Those, who oppose the doctrine of real possessions, state that 
Jesus, the Apostles, and Evangelists, are not to be understood lit- 
erally, when they speak of the agency of demons, because such a 
supposition would make them act contrary to the doctrine, which 
they themselves taught. 

They, accordingly, in support of the point, that the doctrines of 
the apostles and Jesus are contrary to that of real demoniacal pos- 
sessions, advance the following considerations. 

Argument I. Jesus and the apostles teach us, that all things, 
even the most minute, are under the direction of God. They 
could not, therefore, for a moment suppose, that so great miseries 
were inflicted by demons, (whether they were the spirits of dead 
men, or other evil spirits,) or that God would be accessory to such 
evils, by permitting them to exist in such a way. They would 
not countenance such an opinion the more especially, because it 
had its origin among nations, which were given to idolatry. It 
was the common belief among such nations, that the celestial di- 
vinities governed the world by proxy, entrusting it to inferiour de- 
ities, and to the spirits of the dead. 

Argument II. Jesus and the apostles teach us, that the spirits 
of the dead immediately enter upon that state or destiny, which 
from their previous character they deserve ; both the good and 
the bad going to a retribution, from which they can never return, 
Luke 16: 22, et seq. 23: 43. 2 Cor. 5:1. Philip. 1: 21. 3:12. 


Heb. 12: 23. Some of the wicked spirits, as we learn from 2 Pe- 
ter 2: 4. and from Jude verse 6. are reserved in custody, till the 
day of judgment ; a statement, which cannot be reconciled with 
the supposition, that they are straying about the earth, and torment- 
ing its inhabitants. 

Argument III. Let it be admitted, that Jesus does not in direct 
terms contradict the prevailing notions, and does not expressly 
and explicitly say, that the demoniacs were not afflicted by the 
agency of demons, but merely by natural diseases, (which was 
the opinion maintained by the Sadducees,) still it must be confess- 
ed, that, on the other hand he no where expressly denies, that 
the effects, produced upon individuals, who were represented as 
possessed with demons, resulted from such diseases merely. The 
fact is, as is contended, the Saviour neither took one part nor the 
other, neither denied nor asserted the reality of demoniacal posses- 
sions. Indeed it was not necessarily nor actually his province. A 
question of that kind, one which involved the state of the body 
or the mind, belonged rather to professed physicians. The Apos- 
tles pursue the same course in respect to this subject that the 
Saviour does, with the exception of John and Paul, who, having 
resided much in Asia Minor, do not, as has been already observed, 
make use of the customary and prevalent phrases in regard to 
demoniacs. It is stated, further, in defence of the conduct of the 
Saviour and his apostles, that there was no need of their refuting 
the vulgar opinion in respect to demoniacs, as it was evidently 
inconsistent with their doctrine concerning the state of the dead, 
and was attacked by the physicians of that age with great suc- 
cess. Besides, an attempt at such a refutation, in an age when 
the opinion to be attacked was yet so prevalent, and in a coun- 
try where it was so fondly cherished, would have involved the dis- 
ciples and the Saviour in prolix disputations, and would have with- 
drawn their attention too much from the preaching of the Gospel. 

I have thus given the statements, illustrations and arguments 
on both sides of this question, and will leave each one to form his 
own opinion. 

[Note. To give an opinion on a question, where so many 
plausible considerations have been brought forward on both sides, 
would be of no avail, without various arguments to support it. 
And to do this, after the statements, which have been already 


made, could hardly be expected here ; especially as it seems to be 
generally admitted by both parties, that the adoption of either 
sentiment does not necessarily imply a doubt of the divine authori- 
ty of the Saviour, or of the integrity of the historians of the New 
Testament. — Our author has merely undertaken to give a concise 
account of the views of the conflicting writers on this inquiry ; and 
it is only in pursuance of this design, that we here mention for the 
student's perusal the Lectures of the late President Appleton. In 
this work, which is generally accessible to the students of this 
country, but probably never came to the notice of Dr. Jahn, not 
only the common arguments in favour of real possession are forci- 
bly presented, but a number of specious objections to that view of 
the subject are met and controverted in a manner, worthy of the 
inquirer's candid consideration.] 

§ 198. The Pool near the Sheep-Market at Jerusalem. 

The pool, tm iy nQofiazixrj, or the receptacle of water, called 
Bethesda, John 5: 2, was a bath. 

I. The first argument in favour of this position is to be found 
in the fact, that the Rabbins and the Chaldaic paraphrast on 
Ecclesiastes make the words nifitt^ia and fi^Dli^s, (the Greek 
TiQofiuTMTj,) mean baths ; and make the word £*t2 n 3-)D , mean the 
servant attending on a bath. The name Bethesda, in Hebrew rpa 
fcilpfr, means, the house or place of favour or kindness, and agrees 
very well with a bath, which was both salutary and pleasant. 

II. Another proof, that the pool in question was a bath, is the 
fact, that the blind, maimed, and withered, were gathered around 
it ; and that there were likewise five porticos, erected without doubt 
for the reception of those, who were sick and infirm. That this 
was the object of the porticos is the opinion, expressed both in the 
Peshito and by Suidas. 

The Angel that troubled the Bath. 

It is related, (John 5: 2 — 4, 6, 7.) in respect to this bath, that 
an angel of the Lord descended at certain times and troubled the 
water, and that the person, who descended first after this opera- 
tion upon the water, was healed of whatever infirmity he might la- 
bour under. 

This account of the descent of an angel, and of the consequent 


restoration of the first one, who entered the water after his de- 
scent, is omitted in certain Greek and Latin manuscripts, and 
likewise in the Armenian version. It is pointed out to the par- 
ticular notice of the reader in some Greek manuscripts, sometimes 
by an obelus or dagger [f], and sometimes by an asterisk.;^ The 
genuineness of the whole passage, therefore, is justly liable to sus- 

On the supposition, that the whole narration is a genuine one, 
the bath in question might have been an animal bath, which has a 
beneficial influence in certain diseases, and which, in the present 
case, was furnished with blood from the temple, by means of a 
subterranean passage. Accordingly, when the blood flowed into 
it, the water might be said with no impropriety to be disturbed, 
especially on festival days, when it received a greater quantity 
than usual. 

Or it might have been, (and most probably was,) a mineral 
bath, which derived its salutary powers from the mineral parti- 
cles, that were intermixed with the mud at the bottom. Accord- 
ingly, when the water was more than usually disturbed or put in 
motion by some external cause, for instance, by showers or by 
subterranean heat, it is natural to suppose, that it was the more 
strongly impregnated with minerals, and of course more than usu- 
ally efficacious. The sick and infirm, therefore, wished to enter 
it at this period, before the mineral particles had subsided, and the 
water had returned to its ordinary state. Eusebius in his Onomas- 
ticon under the word fit^ada confirms the last hypothesis for he 
states, that in his time there were, at that place, viz. Bethesda, 
two contiguous receptacles of water, which were dry except when 
rains fell. They were then slightly tinged with a red colour, a 
proof, that the bottom was impregnated with mineral particles. 
Consult Richteri Dissertatio Medic, theol de balneo animali, p. 107. 
Goetting. 1775, and Mead, Medic, sacr. 6. 8. 

The descent of the angel, and the healing of the first one, 
who entered into the water, are statements founded in the preva- 
lent popular opinions. The reason, why the historian did not 
make a statement of his own on the subject, but chose rather, in 
the fourth and sixth verses, to give the popular belief, was, that 
the reader might understand the reply of the sick man, in the 
seventh verse. > - 



§ 199. On Paralytics. 

The palsy of the New Testament is a disease that is of very 
wide import. Many infirmities, as Richter has demonstrated, in the 
seventy third and the following pages of the Treatise referred to 
in the preceding section, were comprehended under the word which 
is rendered pahy in the New Testament. 

I. The apoplexy, a paralytic shock which affected the whole 

II. The hemiplegy, which affects and paralyses only one side 
of the body. 

III. The paraplegy, which paralyses all the parts of the sys- 
tem below the neck. 

IV. The catalepsy. It is caused by a contraction of the mus- 
cles in the whole or part of the body, (e. g. in the hands,) and 
is very dangerous. The effects upon the parts seized are very 
violent and deadly. For instance, when a person is struck with 
it, if his hand happens to be extended, he is unable to draw it 
back. If the hand is not extended, when he is struck with the 
disease, he is unable to extend it. It appears diminished in size, 
and dried up. Hence the Hebrews were in the habit of calling it 
a withered hand, 1 K. 13: 4—6. Zech. 11: 17. Matt. 12: 10—13. 
John 5: 3. 

V. The cramp. This, in oriental countries, is a fearful malady, 
and by no means unfrequent. It originates from the chills of the 
night. The limbs, when seized with it, remain immoveable, some- 
times turned in, and sometimes out, in the same position, as when 
they were first seized. The person afflicted resembles a man, un- 
dergoing the torture, paouvL&iAtvoj, and experiences nearly the 
same exquisite sufferings. Death follows this disease in a few days, 
Matt. 8: 9, 10. comp. Luke 7: 2. 1 Mac. 9: 55—58. 

Note. The disease, denominated in Matt. 9: 20. Mark 5: 25. 
and Luke 8: 43. an issue of blood, is too well known to require any 
particular explanation. It may be well, however, to make this 
single observation, that physicians themselves acknowledge, that it 
is a disorder which is difficult to be cured, Mark 5: 26. 


§ 200. The Death of Judas Iscariot. 

Judas Tscariot, i. e. Judas, the man of Karioth, ftl^ljl w^N, 
(Josh. 15: 25. Jer. 48: 41. Amos 2: 2.) we are informed in Matt. 27: 
5. (c<7r?;yi;aT0,) hung himself. We are further informed in Acts 1: 18. 
{nQ}}vr t g yevouevog ikccxtjat [.lioog, aul t££%vd?j tiuvtcc r« anXuy- 
%va uvtov, that he fell headlong, burst asunder in the midst, and 
all his bowels gushed out. These two statements, which exhibit 
the appearance of being not altogether harmonious, have occasioned 
various opinions among the learned. 

The most easy and natural reconciliation of them is this. Pe- 
ter, in his discourse, (Acts 1: 18.) did not deem it necessary to give 
a full narration, in every respect, of an event, which was perfect- 
ly well known. He, therefore, merely mentions the circumstance, 
which probably originated from the rope's breaking, or being 
cut off, with which he was suspended, at the time, that he was 
taken down for interment, of his fall and breaking asunder in the 
midst. This very simple supposition, which gives a solution of 
the whole difficulty, appears to me preferable to any farfetched hy- 

§ 201. Blindness op the Sorcerer Bar Jesus. 

5 - 

Bar Jesus, the sorcerer, otherwise called Ely mas, ^/Ac, a w ^ se 

or learned man, was struck blind by Paul, Acts 13: 6 — 12. The 
blindness in this instance is properly denominated in Greek aylvg, 
and was rather an obscuration, than a total extinction of the sight. 
It was occasioned by a thin coat or tunicle of hard substance, 
which spread itself over a portion of the eye, and interrupted the 
power of vision. Hence the disease is likewise called axoro?, or 
darkness. It was easily cured, and sometimes even healed of it- 
self, without resort to any medical prescription. Hence Paul adds, 
" not seeing the sun for a season." 

§ 202. Disease of Herod Agrippa. 

Josephus, (Antiq. XIX. 8. 2.) and Luke, (Acts 12: 23.) attribute 
the disease, with which Herod died, to the immediate agency of 
God ; because he so readily received the idolatrous acclamations 



§ 203. ON DEATH. 

of the people, who hailed and honoured him, as a Divinity. Jose- 
phus says, the disease was in the intestines. But he perverts his 
statement hy the intermixture of certain superstitious and incredible 

Luke, who was a physician, says more definitely and accurately, 
that Herod was consumed with worms, which in eastern countries 
frequently prey upon the intestines. Josephus observes, that he 
died on the fifth day after the attack. 



§ 203. On Death. 

The Hebrews regarded life, as a journey, as a pilgrimage on 
the face of the earth. The traveller, as they supposed, when he 
arrived at the end of this journey, which happened when he died, 
was received into the company of his ancestors, who had gone be- 
fore him, Gen. 25: 8. 35: 29. 37:35. Ps. 39: 12; comp. Heb. 11: 
13, 15. Eccles. 12: 7. Reception into the presence of God at 
death is asserted in only two passages of the Old Testament, viz. 
Haggai 2: 23. and Eccles. 12: 7. 

Opinions of this kind, (viz. that life is a journey, that death is 
the end of that journey, and that, when one dies, he mingles with 
the hosts, who have gone before,) are the origin and ground of such 
phrases, as the following ; to be gathered to one's people, Vtt ?]0Nn 
■PBS, Num. 20: 24, 26. Deut. 32: 50. Gen. 25: 8, 9. 35: 29. 49: 29. 
Jer. 8: 2. 25: 33. and to go to one' s fathers, Vrriaa , fioa Gen. 
15: 15. 37: 35. This visiting of the fathers has reference to the im- 
mortal part, and is clearly distinguished, in many of the passages 
above quoted, from the mere burial of the body. See Gen. 37: 35. 

A person, when dying was said to go, to depart, or to be dismis- 

§ 203. ON DEATH. 


sed, -nogevta^ai, (iudt&iv, azioXvt'o&ui, !}bl"T , ^b^ , Tob. 3: 6, 13. 
John 7: 33. 8: 21. 16: 16, 17. 2 Cor. 5: 6—9. Philip, t: 13. 2 Tim. 
4: 6. Luke 2: 29. 22: 22. comp. the Septuagint in Gen. 15: 2, 15. 
and Num. 20: 26. In those parts of the Bible, which were writ- 
ten at a comparatively recent period, there occur such expres- 
sions, as the following ; to sleep among one's fathers, -pninN tU? 
2 Sam. 7: 12. 1 K. 11: 21 ; and in all parts of the Bible, such as 
the following, to give up the ghost, and no longer to be or exist, in 
Hebrew ana, r&3*K, Gen. 42: 13. Num. 20: 3, 29. Gen. 31: 15. 
Ps. 37: 10. 36. 39: 13. 103: 16. Mark 15: 37. 

Some suppose, that the expressions and descriptions, which 
occur in Gen. 5: 24. Ecclus. 44: 16. Wisd. 4: 10. Heb. 11: 5. and 
2 K. 2: 12. are of a poetical character, which convey, when truly 
interpreted, no other idea, than that of natural death. 

Sometimes the Hebrews regarded death, as a friendly messen- 
ger, but they were more frequently inclined to dread him, as a for- 
midable enemy. Impressed with a sense of the terrors, which 
were the consequence of his visitations, their imaginations impart- 
ed to him a poetical existence in the character of a hunter, armed 
him with a dart or javelin, m'vigov, with a net, and with 

a snare, fc"Tj3, b'MXV "^&rT, ^^i ^ "^p^- Thus equip- 
ped, this fearful invader commenced his artifices against the chil- 
dren of men, and when he had taken them captive, slew them, 2 
Sam. 26: 6. Ps. 18: 5, 6. 116: 3. 1 Cor. 15: 55, 56. 

The wild fancy of some of the Poets went still further, and 
represented Death, n^ft , as the king of the Lower World, and fit- 
ted up for him a subterranean palace, denominated Sheol and 
Hades, Vifitiij } " Aib^q, in which he exercised sovereignty over all 
men, (including kings and warriours,) who had departed from this 
upper state of existence. This place occurs also under the phra- 
ses, rntt ''I^TB , and al nvXai tov qdov, the gates of Death or Hades, 
Job 38:17. Ps. 9: 13. 49: 15. 107: 18. Is. 38: 10, 18. Matt. 16: 
IS. Such are the attributes of this place, its situation, its ruler, 
and its subjects that it might very justly be denominated Death's 
royal palace, comp. 2 Sam. 15: 2. 

Mention is made of the rivers of Hades, in Ps. 18: 4, 5. 

The more recent Hebrews, adhering too strictly to the letter 
of their Scriptures, exercised their ingenuity, and put in requisi- 
tion their faith, to furnish the monarch Death with a subordinate 


agent or angel, n?.JB*3 l*^ 7 ? , viz. the prince of bad spirits, 6 Aia- 
(jolog, otherwise called Sammael, and also Ashmodai, and known 
in the New Testament by the phrases, 6 ug%a)v tov xoopov, ^"n 
DiriSJT, o to xgcczog tov OavuTOv tywv, 6 migdCcov, the prince of 
this world, who hath the power of death, the tempter. The He- 
brews, accordingly, in enumerating the attributes and offices of the 
prime minister of the terrific king of Hades, represent him as in 
the habit of making his appearance in the presence of God, and 
demanding at the hand of the Divinity the extinction, in any given 
instance, of human life, (see Jude chap. i.). Having obtained per- 
mission to that effect, he does not fail of making a prompt exhibi- 
tion of himself to the sick ; he then gives them drops of poison, 
which they drink and die. Comp. John 14: 30. Heb. 2: 14. Hence 
originate the phrases, " to taste of death," and " to drink the cup of 
death," which are found also among the Syrians, Arabians, and 
Persians, t Matt. 16: 28. Mark 9: 1. Luke 9: 27. John 8: 52. 
Heb. 2: 9. 

[Note. For some well written and learned remarks on the mean- 
ing, which was attached by the ancient Hebrews to the term Sheol, 
the reader is referred to Dr. Campbell's Preliminary Dissertations 
to the Gospels, Diss. VI. Pt. 2. 

The subject of the Devil and of wicked angels in general is ex- 
amined in the Biblical Theology of Storr and Flatt, recently trans- 
lated into English by Professor S. S. Schmucker. The real exis- 
tence of evil spirits, and the relation in which they stand to the hu- 
man family, is concisely but satisfactorily illustrated in that valua- 
ble work.] 

§ 204. Treatment of the corpse. Embalming. 

The friends or sons of the deceased closed his eyes, Gen. 46: 4. 
The corpse *j>S> , n^33 , ntoSS , a)03 , n73 , was washed with wa- 
ter, and, except when buried immediately, was laid out in an upper 
room or chamber, Tr\v vnegtuov 2 K. 4: 21. Acts 9: 37. 

The treatment of the lifeless body has not always been the same 
in every age, but has varied both in different ages, and in different 

The Egyptians embalmed D2ft, the body. They had three 
methods of performing this operation, and, in determining which 


of these methods should be followed in any given case, the pro- 
minent inquiry was in respect to the rank and wealth of the deceas- 
ed person. The first method was adopted in the embalming of Ja- 
cob and Joseph ; it was very costly, and required, in defrayment of 
the expense, more than two thousand florins, Gen. 50: 2, 26. 

Herodotus, (II. 86—88.) states, that a priest, (one, who at the 
same time had some knowledge of the medical art,) designated to 
the operator a place below the ribs, on the left side of the deceas- 
ed person, for the incision. The operator, he observes, had no 
sooner made the incision, than he fled with the greatest precipita- 
tion, for he was immediately attacked with stones by the bystand- 
ers, as one, who had violated the dead. The rest of the priests, 
who, like the one, that had designated the place for the incision, 
were in some degree acquainted with medicine, extracted the in- 
testines, washed the body externally with water, and internally 
with the wine of the palm tree, and then anointed it with a com- 
position of myrrh, cassia, salt of nitre, &.c. The brain was taken 
out by a crooked piece of iron through the nose, and the cranium 
was filled with aromatic substances. 

The whole body was then wrapped round with linen, while 
each member of the body was at the same time bound separately 
with pieces of the same materials. The process of embalming oc- 
cupied thirty or forty days, Gen. 50: 2, 26. The two other modes 
of embalming, which occupied but a short time, it is not espe- 
cially necessary, that we should undertake, at the present time to 

After the body was embalmed, it was placed in a box of syca- 
more wood, which was fashioned externally so as to resemble the 
human form, and was in this way preserved in the house, some- 
times for ages, leaning against the wall, Exod. 13: 19. comp. Gen. 
50: 24, 25. Josh. 24: 32. see also the large German edit, of this 
Work, P. I. Vol. II. tab. X. no. I. This is the account of embalm- 
ing, as far as the Egyptians, and those who were immediately con- 
nected with them, are concerned. 

In respect to this practice or art, as it existed among the He- 
brews, we have authority for saying as far as this, that it was 
their custom, in the more recent periods of their history, to wrap 
the body round with many folds of linen, and to place the head in 
a napkin, John 11: 44. (The general term, that is used in the 


§ 205. OF FUNERALS. 

New Testament, to include the whole of the grave-clothes, is 
o&ovia.) It was their custom likewise to expend upon the dead 
aromatic substances, especially myrrh and aloes, which were brought 
from Arabia. This ceremony is expressed by the Greek verb tvxa- 
qia£ti,v } and was performed by the neighbours and relations, Matt. 
26:6—14. 27:59. John 19: 39, 40. 20:7. 11:44. Mark 14: 8. 
Acts 9: 37. There is reason to believe, that the more ancient He- 
brews, although it cannot be proved by direct and decisive testimo- 
ny, pursued the same course in regard to the dead, with their de- 

§ 205. Of Funerals. 

The ceremonies at the burial of the dead were different in dif- 
ferent countries ; but in every country it was considered a most 
ignominious procedure, to deprive the corpse of interment, and to 
leave it exposed to the depredations of wild beasts and birds. 

Heroes, accordingly, (such was the disgrace attached to non-in- 
terment,) were in the habit of threatening, as a mark of their in- 
dignation and contempt, this dishonour to their adversaries in bat- 
tle. The prophets, in like manner, when putting in requisition 
the powers of their imagination in order to give an impressive 
picture of any fearful and approaching devastations by war, re- 
present such a state of things, as a feast, which God would make 
from human corpses, for the birds of heaven, and for the beasts of 
the forest, 1 Sam. 17: 44—46. 31: 8—13. 2 Sam. 4: 12. 21: 9, 10. 
1 K. 14: 11—14. Jer. 7: 33. 8: 2. 16: 4. 34: 20. Ezek. 29: 5. 
32: 4. 39: 17—20. Ps. 63: 10. 79: 2—3. Is. 14: 19. The patri- 
archs buried their dead in a few days after death, Gen. 23: 2 — 4. 
25: 9. 35: 29. Their posterity in Egypt seem to have deferred 
burial. It is probable, that Moses in reference to this practice ex- 
tended the uncleanness, contracted by means of a corpse, to seven 
days, in order to make the people hasten the ceremony of interment. 

In a subsequent age, the Jews imitated the example of the Per- 
sians, and buried the body very soon after death, Acts 5: 6, 10. 
The interment of Tabitha, (Acts 9: 37.) was delayed on account 
of sending for Peter. The children, friends, relations, or servants 
of the deceased took the charge of his burial, Gen. 23: 19. 25: 9. 


35: 29. 48: 7. Num. 20: 28. 1 K. 13: 30. 2 K. 23: 30. Mark 6: 
29. Matt. 27: 59, GO. 

A box or coffin for the dead, p^N, was not used, except in 
Babylon and Egypt. The corpse was wrapped in folds of linen, 
and placed upon a bier, in the Hebrew and ni273 , Deut. 3: 

J 1 ; and was then carried by four or six persons to the tomb. 
The bearers appear to have travelled very rapidly in the time of 
Christ, as they do at the present day among the modern Jews, 
Luke 7: 14. 

The mourners, who followed the bier, poured forth the an- 
guish of their hearts in lamentable wails : and what rendered the 
ceremony still more affecting, there were eulogists and musicians 
in attendance, who deepened the sympathetic feelings of the oc- 
casion, by a rehearsal of the virtues of the departed, and by the 
accompaniment of melancholy sounds, Gen. 50: 7 — 11. 2 Sam. 3: 
31, 32. Amos 5: 16. Matt. 9: 23. 11: 17. Men, who were distin- 
guished for their rank, and who at the same time exhibited a 
claim to the love and to the favour of the people, for their virtues, 
and their good deeds, were honoured with an attendance of vast 
multitudes, to witness the solemnities of their interment, Gen. 50: 
7—14. 1 Sam. 25: 1. 2Chron. 32: 33. 1 K. 14: 13. To bury, 
and to pay due honours to the remains of the dead, was consider- 
ed, in the later periods of the Jewish state, not only an act due 
to decency and the common feelings of humanity, but a religious 
duty, Tob. 1: 12—19. 2: 4—8. 4: 17, 18. 12: 12, 13. Eccles. 7: 
31. Acts 8: 2. 

§ 206. Situation of Sepulchres. 

Sepulchres, otherwise called the everlasting houses, were 
commonly situated beyond the limits of cities and villages, Is. 14: 
18. Eccles. 12: 5. Luke 7: 12. Matt. 8: 28. The Mosaic law re- 
specting defilement by means of dead bodies, seemed to render it 
necessary, that they should not be located within them. And still 
it was as much the custom among other nations, as among the 
Hebrews, (and indeed continues to be the practice to the present 
day in the East,) to bury out of the city ; except in the case of kings 
and very distinguished men, whose ashes are commonly permitted 



to repose within it, comp. 1 Sam. 23: 3. 2 K. 21: 18. 2 Ghroo. 16: 
14. 24: 16. 

The sepulchres of the Hebrew kings were upon mount Zion, 
2 Chron. 21: 20. 24: 25. 28: 27. 2 K. 14: 20. 

With the exception to be made in respect to the situation of 
the tombs of their kings, the Hebrews generally exhibited a pre- 
ference for burying their dead in gardens, and beneath shady trees, 
Gen. 23: 17. 35: 6. 1 Sam. 31: 13. 2 K. 21: 18, 26. 23: 10. John 
19: 41. But as such situations, viz. groves and gardens, belonged 
of course to individuals, the inference is, (what indeed we learn 
from other sources,) that sepulchres were the property of a sin- 
gle person, or of a number of families united together, Gen. 23: 4 
—20. 50: 13. Judg. 16: 31. 2 Sam. 2: 32. There were some bu- 
rial places, however, which were either common, 2 K. 23: 6. Jer. 
26: 23, or allotted to a certain class of people, Matt. 27: 7. 

To be buried in the sepulchre of one's fathers, was a distin- 
guished honour ; to be excluded from it, was as signal a disgrace. 
In consequence of this feeling, the bodies of enemies, who had fal- 
len in war, were delivered up to their friends to be buried, though 
in some instances when petitioned for, they were denied, Gen. 40: 
29. 50: 13, 25. Judg. 16: 31. 2 Sam. 19: 37, 38. 2 K. 9: 28. Jer. 
26: 23. This honour was denied to those, who died while infect- 
ed with the leprosy, 2 Chron. 26: 23. Those kings also, who had 
incurred the hatred of the people, were not permitted to be bu- 
ried in the royal tombs, 2 Chron. 21: 20. 24: 25. 28: 27. Hence 
we are commonly informed in respect to kings of an opposite char- 
acter, that they were buried with funeral honours, in the tombs of 
their ancestors, 1 K. 11: 43. 14:31. 15: 8, etc. To be buried 
like an ass, i. e. without mourning, and lamentation, was considered 
a very great disgrace, Jer. 22: 16 — 19. 35: 30. 

§207. Sepulchres. 

The sepulchres or burying places of the common class of peo- 
ple were, without doubt, mere excavations in the earth, such as 
are commonly made at the present day in the East. Persons, who 
sustained a higher rank, were more rich, or more powerful, own- 
ed subterranean recesses, crypts, or caverns, which are sometimes 
denominated TTVPfo , sometimes SrriTtB , ftrjnp, nia, sometimes nij:, 


tn^ip (the usual name for places of interment,) and in the New 
Testament, xotcpog and fivrjfitiov, Gen. 23: 6. Matt. 23: 27, 29. 27: 
52, 53. (The word biNtt) also, in Psalm 141: 7. means a burying 
place.) These large subterranean places of interment were, in 
some instances, the work of nature, in some, were merely artificial 
excavations of the earth, and in others, were cut out from rocks, 
Gen. 23: 2. et seq. Josh. 10: 27. Is. 22: 16. 2 K. 13: 21. John 11: 
38. 19: 41. Matt. 27: 52, 60. Numerous sepulchres of this kind 
still remain in Syria, in Palestine, and in Egypt. The most beau- 
tiful, called the royal sepulchres, are situated in the north part of 
Jerusalem, and were probably the work of either Helen, queen of 
Assyria, or of the Herods ; Josephus, Jewish War, V. 4. 2. p. 843. 

The entrance into these sepulchres was by a decent over a 
number of steps. Many of them consisted of two, three, and even 
seven apartments. There were niches in the walls, where the 
dead bodies were deposited. The interiour chambers of sepul- 
chres, those the farthest removed from the first entrance, were 
deeper than the others, and were approached by a flight of descend- 
ing steps, 2 Chron. 32: 33. Ps. 88: 6. Is. 14: 15. 

The entrance was closed, either by stone doors, or by a flat 
stone placed against the mouth of it, Ps. 5: 9. John 11: 38. 20: 5, 
11. Matt. 28: 2. Mark 16: 3, 4. 

The doors of sepulchres, indeed the whole external surface, 
unless they were so conspicuous without it, as to be readily dis- 
covered and known, were painted white on the last month of every 
year, i. e. the month of Adar. The object of this practice was, 
by a timely warning, to prevent those, who came to the feast of 
the Passover, from approaching them, and thus becoming contami- 
nated, Matt. 23: 27. Luke 11: 44. In Egypt there are still found 
the remains of very splendid sepulchres, which, when we consid- 
er their antiquity, their costliness, and the consequent notice, 
which they attracted, account for the expressions in Job 3: 14. and 
17: 1. 

Note I. Maundrell on the Sepulchres of the Kings. 

["^The next place we came to was those famous grots called 
the sepulchres of the kings ; but for what reason they go by that 
name is hard to resolve : for it is certain none of the kings either 
of Israel or Judah were buried here, the holy Scriptures assign- 



ing other places for their sepultures : unless it may be thought 
perhaps that Hezekiah was here interred, and that these were the 
sepulchres of the sons of David, mentioned 2 Chron. 32: 33. Who- 
ever was buried here, this is certain, that the place itself disco- 
vers so great an expense both of labour and treasure, that we may 
well suppose it to have been the work of kings. You approach 
to it at the east side, through an entrance cut out of the natural 
rock, which admits you into an open court of about forty paces 
square, cut down into the rock with which it is encompassed in- 
stead of walls. On the south side of the court is a portico nine 
paces long and four broad, hewn likewise out of the natural rock. 
This has a kind of architrave running along its front, adorned with 
sculpture, of fruits or flowers, still discernible, but by time much 
defaced. At the end of the portico on the left hand you descend 
to the passage into the sepulchres. The door is now so obstructed 
with stones and rubbish, that it is a thing of some difficulty to creep 
through it. But within, you arrive in a large fair room, about 
seven or eight yards square, cut out of the natural rock. Its sides 
and ceiling are so exactly square, and its angles so just, that no 
architect with levels and plummets could build a room more reg- 
ular. And the whole is so firm and entire, that it may be called 
a chamber hollowed out of one piece of marble. From this room, 
you pass into, I think, six more, one within another, all of the 
same fabric with the first. Of these the two innermost , are deeper 
than the rest, having a second descent of about six or seven steps 
into them. 

" In every one of these rooms, except the first, were coffins of 
stone placed in niches in the sides of the chamber. They had 
been at first covered with handsome lids, and carved with gar- 
lands : but now most of them were broken to pieces by sacri- 
legious hands. The sides and ceiling of the rooms were always 
dropping with the moist damps condensing upon them. To remedy 
which nuisance, and to preserve these chambers of the dead polite 
and clean, there was in each room a small channel cut in the floor, 
which served to drain the drops that fall constantly into it." Maun- 
drell's Travels, p. 76.] 

Note II. Harmer on the white-washing of Sepulchres. 

[" The general meaning of a comparison used by our Lord is 
obvious, when he said, Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypo- 


erites ! for ye are like unto ivhited sepulchres, which indeed appear 
beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all 
uncleanness, Matt. 23: 27 ; but it will appear with greater life, if 
we suppose, that the Sepulchres about. Jerusalem were just then 
white-washed afresh, which I should suppose is extremely probable, 
as the present Eastern sepulchres are fresh done upon the approach 
of their Ramadan. 

" Such is the account of Niebuhr, in the first volume of his 
Travels. Speaking there of Zebid, a city of Arabia, which had 
been the residence of a Mohammedan prince, and the most com- 
mercial city of all the country of that part of Arabia, but which 
had lost much of its ancient splendour in these respects, he adds, 
11 that however, Zebid makes yet, at a distance, the most beauti- 
ful appearance of all the cities of the Tehama, or low country, 
which is owing to their clergy, who have found means insensibly, 
to appropriate a very large part of the revenues of the city and 
adjoining country, to themselves and the mosques. From thence 
have arisen a multitude of mosques and kubbets, which at that 
time, when Ramadan was near approaching,* had been almost all 
white-washed. The kubbets are little buildings, built over the 
tombs of rich Mohammedans, who pass for saints." 

" The Passover was at hand when our Lord made this compari- 
son, as is evident from the context, and therefore, it is likely they 
were just then whited afresh, when the season for such rainy and 
bad weather as is wont to wash off these decorations was just 
over, and the time was at hand when Israel were about to assem- 
ble in Jerusalem at their national solemnities, which were all 
held in the dry part of the year, or nearly so : the rain being at 
least just over at the time of the Passover, by the time of Pentecost 
it was gone in Judea, and the Feast of Tabernacles was observed 
before the rain was wont to return. 

'* But whatever was the time of white-washing the Jewish se- 
pulchres anew, we may believe it was often done ; since to this 
day, the people of those countries have not discovered any way 
of so whitening these buildings as to make it durable." Harmer's 
Observations, Vol. III. p. 92. Obs. XXVIII.] 

* Ramadan is a kind of Mohammedan Lent, followed by a festival, as 
Lent, in the English Church, is followed by Easter. 



§ 203. Articles which were buried with the Dead. 

The custom prevailed among many ancient nations of throw- 
ing pieces of gold and silver, also other precious articles, into the 
sepulchres of those, who were buried. The Hebrews did not 
think proper to adopt this custom, but retained those precious 
gifts for the use of the living, which other nations chose to bestow 
upon the dead. There was this exception, however, in the case 
of the Hebrews, that they sometimes buried with their departed 
monarchs the appropriate ensigns of their authority, and sometimes 
deposited in the tomb of their lifeless warriours the armour, which 
they had worn while living, Ezek. 32: 27. 

Herod, when he opened and examined the tomb of David, 
found within it the ensigns of royal authority. Josephus, (Antiq. 
XVI. 1. 11.) states, that John Hyrcanus found a treasure in the 
sepulchre of David. If this were the fact, the treasure in ques- 
tion could have been no other, than that, which was deposited there 
by Antiochus Epiphanes. 

§ 209. Sepulchral Monuments, iTOXB , /Avrj^ie7ov. 

Mention is made of such monuments in various instances from 
the time of Abraham down to the time of Christ, Gen. 19: 20. 35: 
20. 2 K. 23: 16, 17. 1 Mace. 13: 25—30. Matt. 23: 29. The an- 
cient Arabians erected a heap of stones over the body of the dead, 
Job 21: 32. Among the Hebrews, such a heap was an indication, 
that the person was stoned, and was of course a mark of ignominy, 
Josh. 7: 26. 8: 27, 29. 2 Sam. 18: 17. 

In progress of time, one stone only, instead of a heap, was se- 
lected and raised up as a monument. It was, as might be expect- 
ed, a large one, and, at a subsequent period still, it was customa- 
ry to hew it, and ornament it with inscriptions. Sepulchral stones 
of this kind are very ancient, and are common to this day in the 
East. The Egyptians, like the Arabians, were in the habit of 
throwing together heaps of stones in honour of the dead. After 
the practice had once commenced, they gradually increased the 
heap to a very great size, till at length they exerted their inge- 
nuity and their power, in the erection of those mountains of stone, 
as they may be termed, the pyramids. 

Anciently monuments of another kind, resembling small obe- 



lisks or columns of a large size, were likewise erected, and some of 
them are standing at the present day in Syria. 

The inhabitants of the East of the present age are in the habit 
of erecting over the burial places of those Mohammedans, who 
have been distinguished for the sanctity of their life, small houses, 
supported on four columns, and displaying an arched roof. These 
edifices are repaired and ornamented by the great, who desire to 
obtain the popular favour, in much the same way, that those of 
the prophets were in the time of Christ, Matt. 23: 29. 

The monument, erected in honour of the Maccabees at Modin, is 
described in the first Book of Maccabees, 13: 27. It was raised of 
square stones, and was very high. In the front of it were seven 
pyramids, and round about many columns, upon the tops of which 
were placed large stones, extending from one to the other. The 
delineation of some parts of this monument is still seen upon an- 
cient coins. As far as we can judge from the representation of 
it, given upon these coins, one would conclude that it resembled 
in some degree the monuments of those Mohammedans, who had 
gained a celebrity for their piety. 

§ 210. Burning of the Corpse. 

The ancient Hebrews considered burning the body a matter of 
very great reproach, and rarely did it, except when they wished, 
together with the greatest punishment, to inflict the greatest ig- 
nominy, Gen. 38: 24. The body of Saul, which had been suspend- 
ed by the Philistines on the walls of Bethshan, was burnt by the 
inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead from necessity, not to inflict, but to 
preserve it from further disgrace, 1 Sam. 31: 12. 

The sentiment in respect to the burning of bodies seems at a 
later period to have been changed. An hundred and forty years 
after Saul, king Asa was burnt with many aromatic substances, not 
as an indication of disgrace, but as an honour. This ceremo- 
ny in the case of Asa is not spoken of, as if it were a new thing, 
and it had probably been introduced, at least some little time pre- 
viously. After the time of Asa, the revolution of sentiment in re- 
gard to burning was so complete, that, while burning was consid- 
ered the most distinguished honour, not to be burnt was regarded 
a most signal disgrace, 2 Chron. 16: 14. 21: 19. Amos 6: 10. Jer. 
34: 5. 



Another change of sentiment eventually took place. After 
the captivity, the Jews conceived a great hatred to this rite. The 
Talmudists in consequence of this endeavoured to pervert the pas- 
sages respecting it, and to induce a belief, that the aromatic sub- 
stances alone, and not the body, were burnt. 

§ 21 1. Of Mourning. 

The grief of the Orientals formerly, on an occasion of death, 
was, as it is to this day in the East, very extreme. As soon as a 
person dies, the females in the family with a loud voice set up a 
sorrowful cry. They continue it as long as they can, without 
taking breath, and the first shriek of wailing dies away in a low 
sob. After a short space of time, they repeat the same cry, and 
continue it for eight days. Every day, however, it becomes less 
frequent and less audible. 

Until the corpse is carried away from the house, the women, 
who are related to the deceased, sit on the ground together, in a 
circle, in a separate apartment. The wife, or daughter, or other 
nearest relation of the deceased occupies the centre, and each one 
holds in her hand a napkin. 

At the present day, there are present on such an occasion, as 
there were anciently, eulogists, ni2Dp73 who chant in mournful 
strains the virtues of the dead. When the one, who sat in the cen- 
tre gave the sign with her napkin, the persons who recalled, (so 
much to their credit,) the memory of the departed, remained si- 
lent. The rest of the females arose, and, wrapping together their 
napkins, ran, like mad persons. But the nearest relation remain- 
ed in her position, tearing her hair, and wounding her face, arms, 
and breast with her nails, comp. Gen. 50: 3. Num. 20: 29. Deut. 
34: 8. 1 Sam. 31: 13. In addition to the persons, whose appropri- 
ate business it was to eulogize the dead, there were sometimes 
employed, on such occasions, professed musicians and singers, 
^i-p , "^V" particularly in ancient times, Amos 5: 16. Jer. 9: 20. 48: 
36.' Matt. 9: 23. Luke 7: 32. 

The lamentations, which are denominated in Hebrew , ^r»D , 
, rtS^P, began, for the most part, as follows. " Alas, alas, my 
brother /" or " Alas, alas, my sister ! Or if the king were dead, 
"Alas, alas, the king!" 1 Kgs. 13:29,30. 2 Chron. 35. 2 Sam. 
1: 12. 3: 33. Jer. 34: 5. The men at the present day are more 



moderate in their grief ; yet there are not wanting instances notv, 
nor were there wanting such formerly, in which they indulged in 
deep and overwhelming sorrow, 2 Sam. 1: 11, 12. 19: 4. It was 
customary for the women after the burial to go to the tomb, and 
to pour out their grief and their lamentations there, John 11:31. 
There were many other indications of a person's grief at the death 
of his friends, beside those, which have been mentioned. Among 
the most common was that of rending the garment, (either the 
outer garment or the inner, or both) from the neck in front, down 
to the girdle. Such is the custom at the present day in Persia, 
Gen. 37: 34. Judg. 11: 35. 2 Sam. 1: 2. 3: 31. 2 K. 5: 7, 8. 6: 30. 
We see, in this custom, the origin of the word pip sack-cloth, from 

the Arabic word i^Jtjk to tear or rend. 

The Hebrews, when in mourning, sometimes walked with 
their shoes off, and with their heads uncovered. They concealed 
the chin with their outer garment, tore or dishevelled their hair 
and beard, or at least neglected to take proper care of them. 
They were forbidden to shave off their eyebrows on such occa- 
sions, Deut. 14: 1, 2. Oppressed with sensations of grief, they 
refused to anoint their heads, to bathe, or to converse with peo- 
ple; they scattered dust and ashes into the air, or placed them 
upon their heads, or laid down in them, Job 1: 20. 2: 12. Lev. 10: 
6. 13: 45. 21: 10. 2 Sam. 1: 2—4. 14: 2. 13: 19. 15: 30. 19: 4. Jer. 
6: 26. They struck together their hands, or tossed them towards 
the sky, smote the thigh and breast, and stamped with the foot, 2 
Sam. 13: 19. Jer. 31: 19. Ezek. 6: 11. 21: 12. Est. 4: 1, 3. They 
wounded their faces with their nails, although this was expressly 
prohibited in Leviticus 19: 28. and Deuteronomy 14: 1, 2. They 
fasted, abstained from wine, and avoided mingling in festivals, 2 
Sam. 1: 11, 12. 3: 35. 12: 16. Jer. 25: 34. Elegies were compos- 
ed on the death of those who held a distinguished rank in socie- 
ty, 2 Sam. 3: 33. After the burial, the persons, who lived near 
the mourners, prepared food for them, in order to refresh them, 
after such a season of suffering and grief. The refreshment sup- 
plied at such a season was sometimes denominated t^DTN Efrb the 
bread of bitterness, and sometimes CPfchDn D13 the cup of consola- 
tion, 2 Sam. 3: 35. Jer. 16: 4, 7. Hos. 9:4. Ezek. 24: 16, 17. 

In the time of Christ, if we may credit Josephus, the mourn- 
ers themselves gave the entertainment subsequent to the burial. 



The mourning, or rather the ceremonies indicative of the grief 
in case of death continued eight days. When kings, or any per- 
sons, who held a very distinguished rank, died, the mourning was 
general, including the whole people, and commonly continued dur- 
ing thirty days, Gen. 50: 4. 1 Sam. 25: 1. 1 Mac. 13: 26. 

Note. The grief exhibited by the Greeks at the departure 
of their friends from life, which is mentioned by Paul in 1 Thess. 
4: 13. agreed in many particulars with that of the Orientals ; 
with this exception, however, that it was still more excessive. It 
was so very marked and extreme, as to be made the subject of 
ridicule by Lucian de Luctu. For among the other extravagan- 
cies, which they exhibited, they bestowed reproaches even upon 
the dead themselves, because they did not remain in life ; uttered 
accusations and curses against the gods, and gave many other exhi- 
bitions of their grief of a kindred character. 

§ 212. Other Causes of Mourning. 

Indications of mourning were not only exhibited on the death 
of friends, but also in the case of many public calamities, such as 
famines, the incursions of enemies, defeat in war, etc. On such 
occasions the feelings of the prophets mingled with the deep sen- 
sations of the people, and they gave utterance to them by the com- 
position of elegies, Ezek. 26: 1—18. 27: 1—36. 30: 2, et seq. 32: 
2 — 32. Amos 5: 1, et seq. 

Thus David, when a fugitive from his rebellious son, like a 
mourner, who had lost a friend by death, walked bare-foot, V\tji , 
and with head covered ; and all the others followed his example, 
2 Sam. 15: 30 comp. 1 Sam. 4: 12. Josh. 7: 6. 1 K. 21: 27. 2 K. 
19: I. Is. 15: 2. 16: 2, 3. 22: 12. 61: 3. Joel 1: 12, 13. Mic. 2: 3 
— 5. 7: 16. Amos 5: 1, 2. etc. It was customary particularly for 
a person to rend his clothes, when he heard blasphemy. This was 
done by the high priest himself. 1 Mac. 11: 71. Matt. 26: 65, who 
was forbidden by law to indulge in the usual expressions of grief, 
even for the dead, Lev. 10: 6. 

Fast-days were accounted days of grief, and we find in many 
instances, that fasting and mourning go together, Jonah 3: 5 — 7. 1 
Mac. 3: 47. Whatever was the cause of the grief, it was not the 
case, that all the indications of it were exhibited in the same in- 
stance, but sometimes, some, and at other times, others. 





§ 213. Patriarchal Government. 

The posterity of Jacob, while remaining in Egypt, maintained, 
notwithstanding the augmentation of their numbers, that patriar- 
chal form of government, which is so prevalent among the No- 
mades. Every father of a family exercised a father's authority 
over those of his own household. Every tribe obeyed its own 
prince, fiOtoa , who was originally the first-born of the founder of 
the tribe, but, in progress of time, appears to have been elected. 
As the people increased in numbers, various heads of families 
united together, and selected some individual from their own body, 
who [was somewhat distinguished, for their leader. Perhaps the 
choice was sometimes made merely by tacit consent ; and, with- 
out giving him the title of ruler in form, they were willing, while 
convinced of his virtues, to render submission to his will. Such 
an union of families was denominated in Hebrew mutt tf% and 
55$ rP2 , and also , Num. 3: 24, 30, 35. In other instances, 

although the number varied, being sometimes more and sometimes 
less than a thousand, it was denominated d^&bi*, £]?.fi$, a thousand, 
1 Sam. 10: 19. 23: 23. Judg. 6: 15. Num. 26:5— 50^ The heads of 
these united families were designated in Hebrew by the phrases, 

rns^ ^fin, e^s&h "^an, and ^anfer ^s&n *$an, Num. 

1: 16. 10: 4. They held themselves in subjection to the princes 
of the tribes, who were called, by way of distinction from other 
chiefs, ftW&fc and b^ip 1 ; " l E|!Wj Wi|53 . Both the princes and 
heads of families are mentioned under the common names of 
tT3,p,t seniors or senators, and tPtjatt) ^tf^ heads of tribes. Fol- 
lowing the law of reason, and the rules established by custom, 
they governed with a parternal authority the tribes and united 
families, and while they left the minor concerns to the heads of 
individual families, aimed to superintend and promote the best in- 



teresta of the community generally. Originally it fell to the prin- 
ces of the tribes themselves to keep genealogical tables ; subse- 
quently they employed scribes especially for this purpose, who 
in the progress of time, acquired so great authority, that under 
the name of E^ntsic [translated in the English version officers,] 
they were permitted to exercise a share in the government of the 
nation, Exod. 5: 14, 15, 19. It was by magistrates of this descrip- 
tion, that the Hebrews were governed, while they remained in 
Egypt, and the Egyptian kings made no objection to it, Exod. 3: 16. 
5: 1, 14, 15, 19. 

§ 214. The Fundamental Law of the Mosaic Institutions. 

The posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were set apart 
and destined to the great object of preserving and transmitting 
the true religion, Gen. IS: 16—20. comp. Gen. 17:9—14. 12:3. 
22: 18. 28: 14. Having increased in numbers, it appeared very 
evident, that they could not live among nations given to idolatry, 
without running the hazard of becoming infected with the same 
evil. They were, therefore, in the providence of God, assigned 
to a particular country, the extent of which was so small, that 
they were obliged, if they would live independently of other na- 
tions, to give up in a great measure the life of shepherds, and 
devote themselves to agriculture. Further ; very many of the 
Hebrews during their residence in Egypt had fallen into idola- 
trous habits. These were to be brought back again to the know- 
ledge of the true God, and all were to be excited to engage in 
those undertakings, which should be found necessary for the sup- 
port of the true religion. All the Mosaic institutions aim at the 
accomplishment of these objects. The fundamental principle, 
therefore, of those institutions was this, that the true God, the 


to de worshipped. To secure this end the more certainly, God, 
through the instrumentality of Moses, offered himself as king to 
the Hebrews, and was accepted by the united voice of their com- 
munity. Accordingly the land of Canaan, which was destined to 
be occupied by them, was declared to be the land of Jehovah, of 
which He was to be the king, and the Hebrews merely the he- 
reditary occupants. In consideration of their acknowledgment of 



God, as their ruler, they were bound, like the Egyptians, to pay a 
twofold tythe, Exod. 19: 4—8. Lev. 27: 20—34. Num. 18: 21, 22. 
Deut. 12: 17—19. 14: 22, 29. 26: 12—15. In compliance with 
the duties, which naturally fall to the immediate ruler of a people, 
God promulgated, from the clouds of mount Sinai, the prominent 
laws for the government of the people, considered as a religious 
community, Exod. xx. These laws were afterwards more fully 
developed and illustrated by Moses. The rewards, which should 
accompany the obedient, and the punishments, which should be the 
lot of the transgressor, were at the same time announced, and the 
Hebrews promised by a solemn oath to obey, Exod. xxi. — xxiv. 
Deut. xxvii. — xxx. 

In order to keep the true nature of the community fully and 
constantly in view, all the ceremonial institutions had reference to 
God, not only as the sovereign of the universe, but as the king of 
the people. The people were taught to feel, that the tabernacle 
was not only the temple of Jehovah, but the palace of their king ; 
that the table, supplied with wine and shew-bread, was the royal 
table ; that the altar was the place, where the provisions of the 
monarch were prepared ; that the priests were the royal servants, 
and were bound to attend not only to sacred but secular affairs, 
and were to receive, as their salary, the first tythes, which the peo- 
ple, as subjects, were led to consider a part of that revenue, which 
was due to God, their immediate sovereign. Other things of a less 
prominent and important nature had reference to the same great 
end. Since, therefore, God was the sovereign, in a civil point of 
view as well as others, of Palestine and its inhabitants, the com- 
mission of idolatry by any inhabitant of that country, even a for- 
eigner, was a defection from the true king. It was in fact treason, 
was considered a crime equal in aggravation to that of murder, 
and was, consequently, attended with the severest punishment. — 
Whoever invited or exhorted to idolatry, was considered seditious, 
and was obnoxious to the same punishment. Incantations also, ne- 
cromancy, and other practices of this nature were looked upon as 
arts of a kindred aspect with idolatry itself, and the same punish- 
ment was to be inflicted upon the perpetrators of them, as upon 
idolaters. The same rigour of inquiry after the perpetrators of 
idolatry was enforced, that was exhibited in respect to other 
crimes of the deepest aggravation ; and the person, who knew of 



the commission of idolatry in another, was bound by the law to 
complain of the person thus guilty before the judge, though the 
criminal sustained the near relationship of a wife or a brother, a 
daughter or a son. 

The law with the penalty attached to it, as may be learut from 
other sources, had reference only to the overt acts of idolatry ; it 
was rather a civil than a religious statute, and the judge, who 
took cognizance of the crime, while he had a right to decide upon 
the deed, the undeniable act in any given instance, evidently went 
beyond his province, if he undertook to decide upon the thoughts 
and feelings of a person implicated, independently of an overt com- 
mission of the crime, Deut. 13: 2 — 19. 17: 2 — 5. 

It has been observed, that the law was not so much a religious, 
as a civil one. The distinction is obvious. A religious law has 
reference to the feelings, and those laws, consequently, which 
command us to love God, to exercise faith in him, and to render 
him a heartfelt obedience are of this nature, Deut. 6: 4 — 9. 10: 
12. 11: 1, 13. It ought to be remarked, that the severe treat- 
ment of idolatry, of which we have given a statement, was de- 
manded by the condition of the times. That was an age, in which 
each nation selected its deity, not from the dictates of con- 
science, but from the hope of temporal aid. It was an age, when 
idolaters were multiplied, and when nothing but the utmost severity 
in the laws could keep them from contaminating the soil of the He- 

§ 215. Condition of the Hebrews as respected other Nations. 

That the Hebrews, surrounded on every side by idolatrous 
nations, might not be seduced to a defection from their God and 
king, it was necessary, that they should be kept from too great an 
intercourse with those nations. This was the object of those sin- 
gular rites, which, though both proper and useful, were uncom- 
mon among the Gentiles. For the Hebrews, having once been ac- 
customed to them, could not readily mingle with other nations; 
since it was extremely difficult to desert and condemn those insti- 
tutions, to which they had been accustomed from youth. But 
lest this seclusion from them should be the source of hatred to 
other nations, Moses constantly taught, that they should love their 



neighbour, S>"\ , i. e. every one, with whom they had any thing to 
do, including "foreigners, Exod. 22: 21. 23:9. L,ev. 19: 34. Deut. 
10: 18, 19. 24: 17. 27: 19. To this end he teaches them, that 
the benefits, which God had conferred upon them in preference 
to other nations were undeserved, Deut. 7: 6 — 8. 9: 4 — 24. But 
although the Hebrews individually were debarred from any close 
intimacy with idolatrous nations, by various rites ; yet as a nation 
they had liberty to form treaties with gentile states, with the follow- 
ing exceptions. 

I. The Canaanites, (including the Philistines, who were 
not of Canaanitish origin,) were excepted. 

They were neither to be admitted to treaty nor to servitude, but 
to be destroyed by war, or driven from the country. This was to 
be done, not only because they unjustly retained the pasturing 
grounds of the Patriarchs, but because they were esteemed of des- 
picable faith, both as servants and companions, and were, moreover, 
addicted to idolatry. Being idolators, they were considered no less 
than traitors in the kingdom of God, and therefore, were not to be 
tolerated, since there was a probability of their leading the Israel- 
ites to the commission of the same sin, Exod. 23: 32, 33. 34: 12, 
16. Deut. 7: 1—11. 20: 1—18. The Phenicians were not includ- 
ed in this deep hostility, as they dwelt on the northern shore of the 
country, were shut up within their own limits, and had occupied 
none of the pasturing grounds of the patriarchs. We learn from 
Josh. 11: 19, that the Canaanites might have avoided the exercise of 
the hostility of the Hebrews by leaving the country, which in truth 
many of them did. Such as pursued this course fled to the Phe- 
nicians, and were transported by them into Africa, Procopius de 
Vandal. II. 10. p. 258. 

II. The Amalekites or Canaanites op Arabia Petrea were 
in like manner to be destroyed with universal slaughter. 

This was to be done, because they had attacked the weak and 
weary Hebrews in their journey through Arabia ; and because the 
robberies, which were committed by them on the southern borders 
of Palestine, could not be restrained in any other way, Exod. 17: 8, 
14. Deut. 25: 17. comp. Judges 6: 3—5. 1 Sam. 15: 1, et seq. 27: 
8, 9. and the 30th chapter. 

III. The Moabites and Ammonites were to be excluded for- 
ever from the right of treaty or citizenship with the Hebrews, but 
were not to be attacked in war, Deut. 2: 9 — 19. 23: 7. 


The reason of taking this middle course was, that, while the/ 
had granted to the Hebrews a passage through their country, 
they had refused to supply them with provisions, even if paid, Deut. 
2: 29. 23: 5. Afterwards in conjunction with certain Midianitish 
tribes, they invited the prophet Balaam to curse the Hebrews, and 
finally they allured them to idolatry, i. e. to the crime of treason, 
Deut. 23: 3—8. comp. Deut. 2: 9—19, 37. The Hebrews, how- 
ever, did not feel themselves at liberty to carry on wars against 
them, except when provoked by previous hostility, Judg. 3: 12 — 30. 
1 Sam. 14: 47. 2 Sam. 8: 2, et seq. 12: 26, et seq. 

They ultimately crushed the Midianites, who had conspired 
with the Moabites in their plans, in a war of dreadful severity, 
Num. 25: 16, 17. 31: 1—24. 

War had not been determined on against the Amorites, who 
had anciently taken away the region beyond Jordan from the Mo- 
abites and Ammonites by arms, for they were not in possession of 
any of the pasturing lands of the Patriarchs. But as their kings, 
Sihon and Og, not only refused a free passage, but opposed the 
Hebrews with arms, they were attacked and beaten, and their 
country fell into the hands of the Israelites, Num. 21: 21 — 35. 
Deut. 1: 4. 2: 24—37. 3: 1—18. 4: 46—49. comp. Judg. 11: 13—23. 

Treaties were permitted with all other nations. David, ac- 
cordingly, maintained a friendly national intercourse with the 
kings of Tyre and Hamath ; and Solomon with the kings of Tyre 
and Egypt, and with the queen of Sheba. Even the religious 
Maccabees made treaties with the Romans. The prophets eve- 
ry where condemn the treaties, which were made with the nations, 
not because they were contrary to the laws of Moses ; but be- 
cause they were injurious to the commonwealth, which the event 
proved, Is. tn. xxxvi. xxxvu. 2 K. xvm. xix. Hos. 5: 15. 7: 11. 
12: 1, et seq. Is. 30: 2—12. 31: 1—2. 2 K. 17: 4. 

§ 216. Principal officers or Rulers in the Hebrew state. 

Many things in the administration of the government remained 
the same under the Mosaic economy, as it had been before. The 
authority, which they had previously possessed, was continued, in 
the time of Moses and after his time, to the princes of the tribes, 
to the heads of familes and combinations of families, and to the 


genealogists, Num. 11: 16. Deut. 16: 18. 20: 5. 31: 28. Yet Mo- 
ses by the advice of Jethro, his father-in-law, increased the num- 
ber of rulers by the appointment of an additional number of judges, 
CUBittj; some to judge over ten, some over fifty, some over an 
hundred, and others over a thousand men, Exod. 18: 13 — 26. 
These judges were elected by the suffrages of the people from 
those, who, by their authority and rank, might be reckoned among 
the rulers or princes of the people. The inferiour judges, i. e. 
those who superintended the judicial concerns of the smaller num- 
bers, were subordinate to the superiour judges, or those who 
judged a larger number; and cases, accordingly, of a difficult na- 
ture, went up from the inferiour to the superiour judges. Those 
of a very difficult character, so much so as to be perplexing to the 
superiour judges, were appealed to Moses himself, and in some 
cases from Moses to the high priest. The judges, of whom we 
have now spoken, sustained a civil as well as a judicial authority ; 
and were included in the list of those, who are denominated the 
elders and princes of Israel. That is to say ; supposing they 
were chosen from the elders and princes, they did not forfeit their 
seat among them by accepting a judicial office, and, on the contra- 
ry, the respectability attached to their office, (supposing they 
were not chosen from them,) entitled them to be reckoned in their 
number, Deut. 31: 28. comp. Josh. 8: 33. 23: 2. 24: I. The vari- 
ous civil officers that have been mentioned in this section, viz. 
judges, heads of families, genealogists, elders, princes of the tribes, 
&/C. were dispersed, as a matter of course, in different parts of the 
country. Those of them, accordingly, who dwelt in the same city, 
or the same neighbourhood, formed the comitia, senate, or legisla- 
tive assembly of their immediate vicinity, Deut. 19:12. 25:8,9. 
Judg. 8. 14. 9: 3—46. 11: 5. 1 Sam. 8: 4. 16: 4. When all, that 
dwelt in any particular tribe, were convened, they formed the le- 
gislative assembly of the tribe, and when they were convened in 
one body from all the tribes, they formed in like manner the le- 
gislative assembly of the nation, and were the representatives of all 
the people, Judg. 1: 1—11. 11:5. 20: 12—24. Josh. 23: 1, 2. 24: 1. 
The priests, who were the learned class of the community, and 
besides were hereditary officers in the state, being set apart for 
civil as well as religious purposes, had, by the divine command, a 
right to a sitting in this assembly, Exod. 32: 29. Num. 36: 13. 8: 



5 — 26. Being thus called upon to sustain very different and yet 
very important offices, they became the subjects of that envy, 
which would naturally be excited by the honour and the advanta- 
ges, attached to their situation. In order to confirm them in the 
duties which devolved upon them, and to throw at the greatest 
distance the mean and lurking principle just mentioned, God, after 
the sedition of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, sanctioned the separa- 
tion of the whole tribe, which had been previously made, to the 
service of religion and the state, by a most evident and striking 
miracle, Num. 16: 1 — 17. 

§217. Connexion of the Tribes with each other. 

Each tribe was governed by its own rulers, and consequently 
to a certain extent constituted a civil community, independent of 
the other tribes, Judg. 20: 1 1—46. 2 Sam. 2: 4. Judg. 1:21,27—33. 
If any affair concerned the whole or many of the tribes, it was de- 
termined by them in conjunction, in the legislative assembly of 
the nation, Judg. 11: 1—11. 1 Chron. 5: 10,18, 19. 2 Sam. 3: 17. 1 
K. 12: 1 — 24. If any one tribe found itself unequal to the exe- 
cution of any proposed plan, it might connect itself with another, 
or even a number of the other tribes, Judg. 1: 1 — 3,22. 4: 10. 7: 
23, 24. S: 2 — 3. But although in many things each tribe existed 
by itself, and acted separately, yet in others, they were united, 
and formed but one community. For all the tribes were bound 
together, so as to form one church and one civil community, not 
only by their common ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not 
only by the common promises, which they had received from 
those ancestors, not only by the need, in which they stood of mu- 
tual counsel and assistance ; but also by the circumstance, that 
God was their common king, that they had a common taber- 
nacle for his palace, and a common sacerdotal and Leviti- 
cal order for his ministers. Accordingly every tribe exerted 
a sort of inspection over the others, as respected their observ- 
ance of the Law. If any thing had been neglected or any wrong 
been done, the particular tribe concerned was amenable to the 
others, and, in case justice could not be secured in any other way, 
might be punished with war, Josh. 22: 9 — 34. Judg. 20: 1, et seq. 
It is possible, that a community thus constituted may be prosper- 


ous and tranquil, but it will probably want promptness in securing 
that justice, which is its ,due, and will also be exposed to external 
and internal wars. We find examples of these evils during the 
time of the judges. In such a community, it was to be expected 
likewise, that the more powerful tribes would be jealous of each 
other, and rivals. Accordingly we find this rivalship existing be- 
tween the tribe of Judah, to which belonged the right of primo- 
geniture, and the tribe of Joseph, which had a double portion, Gen. 
49: 8 — 10. 48: 5, 6. The right of possessing a double portion, in 
consequence of which the tribe of Joseph was divided into those 
of Ephraim and Manasseh, and which was equivalent in fact to 
the right of primogeniture, placed these two tribes on nearly the 
same footing, and caused them to look upon each other with the 
captious and unfriendly eye of competitors. From rivalships of 
this kind a sad schism finally arose, which sundered the nation, 
1 K. xii. 

§ 218. The Comitia or Legislative Assemblies. 

(1.) Persons, who composed the Comitia. 

They have been mentioned in a preceding section, and were as 
follows, viz. judges, i. e. those, who exercised the office in the judi- 
cial sense of the word, heads of families, genealogists, elders, and 
the princes of the tribes. 

(2.) Titles applied to them in their collective capacity. 

Ti^Xl ^r.pXf elders of the assembly or of the people. 

tSIJWI"'^^ rH:?n~73 , "HO, the whole assembly. At the conven- 
tions designated by these words, not only the persons mentioned 
at the head of this section were present, but also in some instances 
the whole body of the people. The words, therefore, may mean a 
national legislative congress, where only the lawfully constituted 
members are present, or they may mean an assembly, which in- 
cludes the whole mass of the people. 

•"H^vJ > the princes of the assembly or congregation. 

^rnj>, i-n?n \Np*"lp , those called to the assembly. 

•"•"HsJ *T* i those deputed to the assembly. 



Examine in reference to this point, Exod. 19: 7. 24: 3 — 8. 34: 
31, S2. Lev. 4: 13. 8: 3—5. 9: 5. 

(3.) Method and Place of convening the Comitia. 

They were convened by the judge or ruler, for the time be- 
ing, and in case of his absence, by the high priest, Num. 10: 2 — 4. 
Judg. 20: I, 27, 28. Josh. 23: 1, 2. The place of their assembling 
appears to have been at the door of the tabernacle, Num. 10: 3. 
Judg. 20: 1, 27, 28. 1 Sam. 10: 17. Sometimes some other place, 
commonly one of some celebrity, was selected as the place of meet- 
ing, Josh. 24: 1. 1 Sam. 11: 14, 15. 1 K. 12: 1. As long as the 
Hebrews resided in camps in the Arabian wilderness, the comitia 
were summoned together by the blowing of the holy trumpets. It 
appears from Num. 10: 2 — 4, that the blowing of one trumpet only 
was the signal for a somewhat select convention, composed merely 
of the heads of the clans or associated families, and of the princes 
of the tribes. The blowing of two trumpets was the signal for con- 
vening the great assembly, composed not only of the heads of fami- 
lies, and the princes of the tribes, but of the elders, judges, and 
genealogists ; and in some instances including, as has been already 
remarked, the whole body of the people. When the Hebrews had 
become fairly settled in Palestine, the comitia were assembled, on 
account of the members living in places distant from each other, not 
by the sound of trumpet, but by messengers sent to them, see Deut. 
29: 9, 10. Judg. xx. 

(4.) Powers, etc. of the Comitia. 

Moses, while he sustained the office of ruler among the He- 
brews announced to these public assemblies the commands of 
God, which were afterwards repeated to the people by the Shote- 
rim, a*ntgi25 , [whom, for want of a better term in English, we 
have denominated genealogists.] In the comitia, (those, which 
met where the people were not present,) the rights of sovereign- 
ty were exercised, wars were declared, peace was concluded, 
treaties were ratified, civil rulers and generals, and eventually 
kings were chosen. The oath of office was administered to its mem- 
bers by the judge, or the king of the stale ; and the latter in turn 


received their oath from the comitia, acting in the name of the peo- 
ple, Exod. 19: 7. 24: 2—8. Josh. 9: 15—21. Judg. 20: 1, 11—14. 
21: 13—20. 1 Sam. 10: 24. 11: 14. 2 Sam. 11: 14. 2:4. G: 17— 
19. 5: 1—3. 1 K. xii. 

The comitia acted without instructions from the people, on 
their own authority, and according to their own views. Nor does 
any instance occur, in which the people exhibited any disposition 
to interfere in their deliberations by way of dictating what they 
ought, or what they ought not to do. Still the comitia were in 
the habit of proposing to the people their decisions and resolves 
for their ratification and consent, 1 Sam. 11: 14, 15. comp. Josh. 8: 
33. 23: 2, et seq. 24: 1, et seq. When God was chosen, as the 
special king of the Hebrews, it was not done by the comitia, inde- 
pendently of those, whom they commonly represented, but by the 
people themselves, all of whom, as well as their rulers, took the 
oath of obedience, even the women and children, Exod. 24: 3 — 8. 
Deut. 29: 9 — 14. The people commonly approved what was done 
by the senate, but sometimes objected. 

§ 219. Form of Government a mixed one. 

When we remember, that God was expressly chosen the king 
of the people, and that He enacted laws and decided litigated 
points of importance, Num. 17: 1—11. 27: 1 — 11. 36: 1 — 10; 
when we remember also, that He answered and solved questions 
proposed, Num. 15: 32—41. Josh. 7: 16—22. Judg. 1: 1, 2. 20: 18, 
27, 28. 1 Sam. 14: 37. 23: 9—12. 30: 8. 2 Sam. 2: 1 ; that He 
threatened punishment, and that, in some instances, He actually in- 
flicted it upon the hardened and impenitent, Num. 11: 33 — 35. 12: 
1 — 15. 16: 1 — 50. Lev. 26: 3 — 46. Deut. xxvi. xxx; when, final- 
ly, we take into account, that He promised prophets, who were to 
be, as it were his ambassadors, Deut. xvin. and afterwards sent 
them according to his promise, and that, in order to preserve the 
true religion, He governed the whole people by a striking and pe- 
culiar providence, we are at liberty to say that God was in fact 
the monarch of the people, and that the government was a theo- 
cracy. And indeed it is worthy of remark, that a form of govern- 
ment, in some degree theocratical in its nature, was well suited 
to the character of that distant age. The countries, that border- 


ed on Palestine, had their tutelar deities ; and there existed 
among them nearly the same connexion between religion and the 
civil government, which there existed among the Hebrews. There 
was this difference, however, in the two cases. The protection, 
which the false deities were supposed to afford to the nations in 
the vicinity of Palestine, was altogether a deception ; while the 
protection, which the true God threw around the children of Is- 
rael, was a reality and a truth. There was likewise this further 
point of difference, that while among the former, religion was 
supposed to be the prop of the state ; it was a fact, that among 
the Hebrews the state was designed to be the supporter and 
preserver of religion. But although the government of the Jews 
was a theocracy, it was not destitute of the usual forms, which ex- 
ist in civil governments among men. God, it is true, was the 
king, and the high priest, if we may be allowed so to speak, was 
his minister of state ; but still the political affairs were in a great 
measure under the disposal of the elders, princes, etc. It was to 
them that Moses gave the divine commands ; determined express- 
ly their powers ; and submitted their requests to the decision of 
God, Num. 14: 5. 16: 4, et seq. 27: 5. 36: 5, 6. It was in refer- 
ence to the great power possessed by these men, who formed the 
legislative assembly of the nation, that Josephus pronounced the 
government to be aristocratical. But from the circumstance, that 
the people possessed so much influence, as to render it necessary 
to submit laws to them for their ratification, and that they even 
took it upon themselves sometimes to propose laws or to resist 
those, which were enacted ; from the circumstance also, that the 
legislature of the nation had not the power of laying taxes, and 
that the civil code was regulated and enforced by God himself, in- 
dependently of the legislature, Lowman and John David Michaelis 
are in favour of considering the Hebrew government a democracy. 
In support of their opinion such passages are examined, as the fol- 
lowing, Exod. 19: 7, 8. 24: 3—8. comp. Deut. 29: 9—14. Josh. 9: 
18, 19. 23: 1, et seq. 24: 2, et seq. 1 Sam. 10: 24. 11: 14, 15. 
Num. 27: 1 — 8. 86: 1 — 9. The truth seems to lie between these 
two opinions. The Hebrew government, putting out of view its 
theocratical features, was of a mixed form, in some respects ap- 
proaching to a democracy, in others assuming more of an aristocra- 
tical character. 


§ 220. The Ruler of the Israelitish Community. 

From what has been said, it is clear, that the ruler, the su- 

who, with the design of promoting the good of his subjects, conde- 
scended to exhibit his visible presence in the tabernacle, wherever 
it travelled, and wherever it dwelt. 

Part sustained by Moses. 

If, in reference to the assertion, that God was the ruler of the 
Jewish state, it should be inquired what the part was, sustained by 
Moses, the answer is, that God was the ruler, the people were his 
subjects, and Moses was the mediator or internuncio between them. 
But the title most appropriate to Moses, and most descriptive of the 
part he sustained, is that of Legislator of the Israelites and their 
Deliverer from the Egyptians. It is clear, however, that a man 
may originate laws and may be the meritorious leader of an emigra- 
tory expedition, without being in the proper sense of the word, the 
ruler of a people. Accordingly Moses had no successor in those 
employments, in which he was himself especially occupied, for the 
Israelites were no longer oppressed with Egyptian bondage, and 
those laws were already introduced, which were immediately 
necessary for the well-being of the people. It was on this ground, 
viz. that the employments, in which he was especially engaged, 
were of a peculiar nature, and having been accomplished while he 
was living, ceased when he was dead, that the council of seven- 
ty elders, who were assigned him to assist him in the discharge 
of his oppressive duties, no longer had an existence after his de- 

Part sustained by Joshua. 

If the same question should be put in respect to Joshua, that 
was supposed in regard to Moses, the answer would be, that he 
was not properly the successor of Moses, and that, so far from be- 
ing the ruler of the state, he was designated by the ruler to sustain 
the subordinate office of military Leader of the Israelites in their 



conquest of the land of Canaan. Consequently, having been desig- 
nated to a particular object, and having accomplished that object, 
it was not necessary, when he died, that he should have a succes- 
sor, nor was this the case. 

Part sustained by the Judges. 

But, although the Hebrew state was so constituted, that beside 
God, the invisible king, and his visible servant, the high priest, 
there was no other general ruler of the commonwealth, yet it is 
well known, that there were rulers of a high rank, appointed at 
various times, called t3S>Vjj , a word, which not only signifies a 
judge in the usual sense of the term, but any governor, or admin- 
istrator of public affairs, comp. 1 Sam. 8: 20. Is. 11: 4. 1 K. 3: 9. 
The power lodged in these rulers, who are commonly called judges 
in the scriptures, seems to have been in some respects paramount 
to that of the general comitia of the nation, and we find, that they 
declared war, led armies, concluded peace, and that this was not 
the whole, if indeed it was the most important part of their du- 
ties. For many of the judges, for instance Jair, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, 
Eli, and Samuel, ruled the nation in peace. They might appro- 
priately enough be called the supreme executive, exercising all 
the rights of sovereignty, with the exception of enacting laws, and 
imposing taxes. They were honoured, but they bore no exter- 
nal badges of distinction ; they were distinguished, but they en- 
joyed no special privileges themselves, and communicated none to 
their posterity. They subserved the public good without emo- 
lument, that the state might be prosperous, that religion might be 
preserved, and that God alone might be king in Israel. It 
ought to be observed, however, that not all of the judges ruled the 
whole nation. Some of them presided over only a few separate 

§ 221. The Theocracy. 

God, in the character of king, had governed the Israelites for six- 
teen ages. He ruled them on the terms, which he himself, through 
the agency of Moses, had proposed to them, viz. that if they ob- 
served their allegiance to Him, they should be prosperous ; if not, 



adversity and misery would be the consequence, Exod. 19: 4, 5. 
23: 20—33. Lev. 26: 3—46. Deut. xxvm— xxx. We may learn 
from the whole book of Judges, and from the first eight chapters of 
Samuel, how exactly the result, from the days of Joshua down to 
the time of Samuel, agreed with these conditions. In the time of 
Samuel, the government, in point of form, was changed into a 
monarchy. The election of king, however, was committed to 
God, who chose one by lot. So that God was still the ruler, and 
the king the vicegerent. The terms of the government, as re- 
spected God, were the same as before, and the same duties and 
principles were inculcated on the Israelites, as had been original- 
ly, 1 Sam. 8: 7. 10: 17—23. 12: 14, 15, 20—22, 24, 25. In con- 
sequence of the fact, that Saul did not choose at all times to obey 
the commands of God, the kingdom was taken from him and given 
to another, 1 Sam. 13: 5—14. 15: 1—31. David, through the 
agency of Samuel, was selected by Jehovah for king, who thus 
gave a proof, that he still retained, and was disposed to exercise 
the right of appointing the ruler under him, 1 Sam. 16: 1 — 3. Da- 
vid was first made king over Judah, but as he received his ap- 
pointment from God, and acted under his authority, the other 
eleven tribes submitted to him, 2 Sam. 5: 1 — 3. comp. 1 Chron. 
28: 4 — 6. David expressly acknowledged God, as the sovereign, 
and as having a right to appoint the immediate ruler of the peo- 
ple, 1 Chron. 28: 7 — 10 ; he religiously obeyed His statutes, the 
people adhered firmly to God, and his reign was prosperous. 
The paramount authority of God, as the king of the nation, and his 
right to appoint one, who should act in the capacity of his vicege- 
rent, are expressly recognized in the books of Kings and Chronicles, 
but dissensions and tumults, notwithstanding, arose upon the death of 
Solomon. The principles, recognized in Kings and Chronicles, are 
repeated in the Psalms and the Prophets. And all these books in- 
culcate faith towards God, and obedience, and the keeping of his 
commandments, and threaten, unless his commands are kept, and 
faith and obedience exercised, the infliction of those punishments, 
and that captivity, which are mentioned by Moses, Deut. 28: 49, 
63—65. 29: 17 — 27. But the same prophets, who predicted the 
miseries of the Captivity, promised also a return, a greater constan- 
cy in religion, tranquillity and prosperity, a once more independent 
theocracy, the propagation of the knowledge of the true God 


through all nations, and the final overthrow of the Hebrews, and 
their ultimate and effectual expulsion from their native country. 
All which accordingly followed. Thus under the government and 
guardianship of God, the true religion was preserved among the 
Hebrews, and at length propagated to other nations, as was prom- 
ised, Gen. 18: 18. 22: 18. 26: 4. 28: 14. 




Be rove 1 
Christ. 1 




Birth of Abraham. 



Calling of Abraham, being 75 years of age. 



Birth of Isaac. 



Marriage of Isaac. 



Birth of Esau and Jacob. 



Death of Abraham, being 175 years of age. 



Death of Isaac, being 180 years of age. 



Joseph, being 30 years old, made a ruler in Egypt. 



Beginning of the Egyptian famine. 



Jacob, aged 130 years, emigrates into Egypt. 



Jacob dies at the age of 147. 



Joseph dies at the age of 110. 



Birth of Moses. 



Flight of Moses into Arabia. 



Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. 



This Table gives a chronological view of historical events from the 
Departure from Egypt to the revolt of the Ten Tribes; a period 
extending from the year 1563 to 1015 before Christ. 

Before I After Depar- 
Christ. I ture fr. Egypt. 

1563 40 Moses dies at the age of 120 years. 
1546 57 Joshua dies at the age of 1 10 years. 

Othniel dies at the age of 40 years. 



Deborah and Barak. 

Gideon judged Israel 40 years. 

Abimelech, king of Shechem. 



1263 340 Jephthah, Judg. 11:26. 

1196 407 Eli succeeds as a Judge of Israel. 
1156 447 Eli dies. 

1 136 467 Samuel sustains the office of Judge. 
1096 507 Saul chosen king. 
1056 547 David made king. 
1015 587 Solomon succeeds him. 






f"' 7 4 1 * 

£>■ Kj. 

of JOT. 

' 3 j<lah. 




Rehoboam reigns 17yrs. 

Jeroboam I. 22 years. 



Abijam, 3 years. 




Asa, 41 years. 





Nadab, 2 years. 




Baasha, 21 years. 




Ela reigns 1 year. 




Omri, 11 years. 




Ahab, 21 years. 



Jehoshaphat 35 years. 





Ahaziah, 1 year. 



18 • 

Jehoram, 13 vears. 



Jehoram, 8 years. 




Ahaziah, 1 year. 




Athaliah, 7 years. 

Jehu, 18 years. 



Jehoash, 40 years. 





Jehoahaz, 17 years. 




Joash or Jehoash, 16 years. 



Amaziah, 27 years. 









Jeroboam II. 41 years. 
Jonah, the prophet. 



Uzziah, 52 years. 


Amos, the prophet. 








Hosca, the prophet. 




Interregnum of 12 years. 








Zechariah, 6 months. 

Shallum, 1 month. 
Menahem, 10 years. 







Pekahiah, 2 years. 



Jotham, 16 years. 

Pekah, 20 years. 

Isaiah, Micah. 











Ahaz, 16 years. 









Interregnum 8 or 9 years. 















Hosea, 9 years. 



Hezekiah, 29 years. 









Overthrow of Israel. 


This table gives the royal successions during the latter part of the pe- 
riods, mentioned in the third table, in Assyria, Media, and Babylon. 

B. C. 

oflO T 



Babylo n. 











Phul 21 years 



Tiglath-pileser 19 years. 

Interregnum ) 
79 years. ) 



Nabonassar 14 


( He conquers Damascus, 
\ Galilee and Gilead. 

o i 






Salmanassar 14 years 



Nadius 2 years. 





i Chinzirus or 
) Porus 5 yrs. 










Jugaeus 5 yrs. 
i Merodach 
\ Baladan. 



The following is a view of the royal successions in the kingdom of 
Judah after the overthrow of the kingdom of Israel, and also of 
those in the neighbouring nations of Assyria, Media, and Babylon. 


C o 

> -a 

O T 

2 2 

<> o 






720 255 


Manasseh 55 



6441331 Amon 2 yrs. 
643332} 2 
642333 Josiah31 y. 

665 311 






1st Reform 
under Josiah 

** - Jeremiah. 


2c? Reform 
under Josiah 


Sennacherib 7 y. 

Sennach. in Jud. 
Esar-haddon 35. 


Sardochaeus 20 y 

Chyniladan 22 y. 

Saracus 13 yrs 


Nineveh over- 


Dejoces 53 y. 





Phraortes 20 y 

Cyaxares I. 40 

( Merodach Ba- 
( ladan 12 yrs. 



Arkianus 5 yrs. 
Interregn. 2 yrs. 
Belibus 3 yrs. 
Rigebelus 1 yr. 
[4 yrs. 

Interregnum 8 y. 
Is joined to As- 
4 [syria 










\Nabopolassar o- 
[verturns Nineveh 
reigns 20 yrs. 






606 369 

364 Jehoahaz 3 mo. 

365 Jehoiakim 11 yrs. 







Beginning of the Baby- 
lonish Captivity, Daniel 
carried away captive. 
370! 5 
372 7 
376 Jehoiakim 3 mo. 
Ezekiel carried away 
3;6 Zedekiahll yrs. 

380 Zedek. goes to Baby 
Ion, Jer. 51: 59. 

381 Ezekiel, proph. 
385-Zedekiah rebels 
387 Jem. overthrown. 


( Jehoiakim freed 
(from bondage. 












Nebuchadnezzar 43 yrs. 





Evil-merodach 2 


Neriglissor 4 yrs. 
Laborasoarchad 9 mo. 
Nabonned 17 yrs. 
Baby, taken by Cyrus. 



This table extends from the time of the return of the Jews from 
captivity, till the death of Alexander the Great, giving in con- 
nexion with the Jewish chronology, the corresponding successions 
in the Persian Dynasty. 

B. C. ) The Hebrews. Persian Monarch?. 

Hebrews from 

536, , 

( captivity. 

529 7th year after Return. 

5°1 16 [ Temple forbidden 

to be! 


Temple completed. 

Haggai and Zechariah 
485 ( '41 

478 48 Ezra, Esther. 


444 92 

432 104 Nehemiah comes to Jerus. 
424 112 Neh. returns to Persia. 
423 113 

408 128 Neh. 2d return to Jerus. 
404 132 
358 178 
337 199 

335 202 Alexander at Jerusalem. 
331 207 Conquers Darius. 
324 214 Alexander dips. 1 

Cyrus reigns seven years. 

Cambyses reigns 7yrs. &, 7 mo. 
Pseudo-Smerdis seven months. 

Darius Hystaspes 36 yrs. 

Xerxes reigns 21 years. 

Artaxerxes Longimanus 40 y 3 m. 


Xerxes II. 2 mo. Sogdianus 7 mo. 
Darius Nothus reigns 19 yrs. 



Artaxerxes Mnemon 46 yrs. 
Darius Ochus 21 yrs. 
Arses two years. 
Darius Codomanus 4 yrs. 
Overthrow of Persian Mon. 



This table gives the succession of the Syrian and Egyptian kings in 
connexion with the History of the Jews from the year 323 to 27 
before Christ. 

B.C.) Syrian Kings. I Egyptian Kings. | Hebrews. 



312Seleucus I. Nicator. 
302 10 
300 12 
292 20 
284 28 
280,Antiochus I. Sidetes. 
260'Antiochus II. Theos. 



245 SeleucusII.Callinicus 
225 SeleucusIII.Keraunus 
223 AntiochusTII. Magnus 
221 2 
204 19 
192 24 
186 Seleucus IV. Philopat 
180J 6 
175 Antiochus IV.Epipha. 
1671 8 
166j 9 
164|AntiochusV. Eupator. 
l62jDemetrius Soter. 
159 3 
l50'Alexand. Balas. 
l45|Demetr. Nicalor. 
144! 2 
]40jA:«tiochus VI. Sidetes 
135| 5 
130 Demetrius Nicat. II. 
l25 ! Zebina. 


92 Philip. 

83 Tigranes. 

80 3 

77 6 

69 14 
*U6Q> The Romans 









Ptolemy Lagus. 


Ptolemy Philadel. 

Ptolemy Evergetes. 



Ptolemy Philopator 
Ptolemy Epiphanes 






-The Romans. 

j At this time subject to the Syrians 
jMany carried into Egypt. 

At this time subject to Egyptians. 
Simon the Just, High Priest. 
Simon the Just dies. 
Jesus, the son of Sirach. 





Simon II. the High Priest dies. 


Judas Maccabee reigned 7 yrs. 

Jonathan ruled 14 yrs. 

Simon 8 years. 


John Hyrcanus, prince 29 yrs. 

Aristobulus 1. 1 year. 
Alexander Jannaeus 27 yrs. 




Alexander 9 yrs. 
Aristobulus II. 4 yrs. 



Pompey at Jeru. Hyrcanus II. 9y. 
Hyrcanus II. High Priest. 
Hyrcanus II. again prince. 
Antigonus, king. 
Herod king, he takes Jerusalem. 
Hyrcanus II. slain. 


36. Birth of Christ. 



This table gives a view of the Hebrew rulers, independently of other 
nations and in chronological order, from the time of Christ till 
the destruction of Jerusalem. 

A. C. Hebrews. 

2 Archelaus, ethnarch nine years. 

12 Judea, a Roman Province, Judas of Galilee. 

21 Pontius Pilate, procurator twelve years. 

34 Jesus Christ is crucified. 

35 Philip, the tetrarch dies. 

38 Herod Agrippa, king of the tetrarchate of Philippi. 

42 Herod Antipas recalled, and his tetrarchate added to that of 
Herod Agrippa. 

44 Herod Agrippa dies. 

45 Fadus, procurator. 

46 Tiberius, procurator. 

47 Cumanus, procurator. 
53 Felix, procurator. 

60 Festus, procurator. 

63 Albinus, procurator. 

65 Florus, procurator. 

66 Beginning of the war between the Jews and Romans. 
71 The destruction of Jerusalem. 





§ 223. The Anointing of Kings. 

When we hear of the anointing of the Jewish kings we are to 
understand by it the same, as their inauguration ; in as much as 
anointing was the principal ceremony on such an occasion, 2 Sam. 
2: 4. 5: 3. 

As far as we are informed, however, Unction, as a sign of in- 
vestiture with the royal authority, was bestowed only upon the 
two first kings, who ruled the Hebrews, viz. Saul and David ; and, 
subsequently, upon Solomon and Joash, who ascended the throne 
under such circumstances, that there was danger of their right to 
the succession being forcibly disputed, 1 Sam. 10: 24. 2 Sam. 2: 4. 
5: 1—3. 1 Chron. 11: 1, 2. 2 K. 11: 12—20. 2 Chron. 23: 1—21. 
That the ceremony of regal anointing should be repeated in every 
instance of succession to the throne, was not to be expected from 
the fact, that the unction, which the first one, who held the sceptre 
in any particular line of princes, had received, was supposed to suf- 
fice for the succeeding incumbents in the same descent. 

In the kingdom of Israel, those, who were inducted into the 
royal office, appear to have been inaugurated with some addition- 
al ceremonies, 2 K. 9: 13. The private anointings, which we learn 
to have been performed by the prophets, (2 K. 9: 3, comp. 1 Sam. 
10: 1. 16: 1 — 13,) were only prophetic symbols or intimations, 
that the persons, who were thus anointed, should eventually receive 
the kingdom. Without the consent, however, of the rulers of the 
nation, (of the public legislative assembly,) they communicated no 
legal right to the crown ; no more than the prophecies of dissen- 
tions and civil wars gave a right to attempt perpetrations of that 
kind, 1 K. 11: 29—40. 12: 20. 2 K. 8: 11—14. 

The ceremonies mentioned in the Bible, which were customary at 
the inauguration of kings, were as follows. 



I. The king, surrounded with soldiers, was conducted into 
some public place, (latterly into the temple,) and was there anoint- 
ed by the high priest with the sacred oil. The circumstance, 
that there is no mention made of anointings on these occasions, in 
the history of the kingdom of Israel, as separate from that of Ju- 
dah, is to be accounted for from the fact, that the rulers of that 
kingdom had not the opportunity of obtaining possession of the 
sort of oil, denominated sacred ; as no other was thought to an- 
swer the purpose, 1 K. 1: 32—34. 2 K. 11: 12—20. 2 Chron. 23: 
1 — 21. We see in this ceremony the ground of the epithet rpU5J9 
or anointed, which is applied to kings, and a reason also, (when it is 
taken into consideration, that kings were virtually the vicegerents of 
Jehovah, and were appointed by his authority,) why they were de- 
nominated the anointed of, i. e. by the Lord, irhrp hp*ij72 , 1 Sam. 
24: 6, 10. 26: 9, 11, 16, 23. 2 Sam. 23: 1. Ps. 2: 2. 89: 38. Habak. 
3: 13, etc. Whether the king was likewise girded with a sword 
at the time of his succession to the throne, is a point which can- 
not be determined at any rate, as some have imagined, from the for- 
ty-fifth Psalm. 

II. It appears from 2 Sam. 1: 10. Ezek. 21: 26. and Ps. 45: 6, 
that a Sceptre was presented to the monarch at his inauguration, 
and that a diadem was placed upon his head. 

III. The Covenant, rP""]3 , which defined and fixed the prin- 
ciples, according to which the government was to be conducted, 
i"C 5)^72 n t3B'd;2 , and likewise the Laws of Moses, were presented 
to him, and he accordingly took an oath, that he would rule accor- 
ding to the principles of that Covenant, and of the Mosaic Law, 1 
Sam. 10: 25. 2 Sam. 5: 3. 1 Chron. 11: 3. 2 K. 11: 12. 2 Chron. 
23: 11, comp. Deut. 17: 18. The principal men of the kingdom, 
princes, elders, &-c. promised obedience on their part, and as a 
pledge and a proof of their determination to do what they had pro- 
mised, they kissed, as it seems, either the feet or the knees of the 
person inaugurated, Ps. 2: 13. 

IV. After the ceremonies were completed, and the individual 
concerned was legally constituted the ruler of the kingdom, he 
was conducted into the city with great pomp, amid the acclama- 
tions and the applauses of the people, and the cries of " Long live 
the King!" ?jb3£f?1 ! The joy, which was the natural result 
of such an occasion, expressed itself likewise in songs, and on in- 



struments of music. Sacrifices, which, in the later ages of the 
nation, were converted into feasts, were offered up, and were in- 
tended probably as a confirmation of the oath, which had been 
taken, 1 K. 1: 1, 11, 19, 24, 34, 39, 40. 2 K. 11: 12, 19. 2 Chron. 
23: 11. comp. Matt. 21: 1 — 11. John 12: 3. There are allusions 
in many passages of Scripture to the public entrance into cities, 
which took place at the time of coronation, and to the rejoicings 
and acclamations on that occasion, Ps. 47: 2 — 9. 83: 1, 2. 97: 1. 
99: 1. 

V. Finally, the king is seated upon the throne, and, as the 
concluding ceremony at his accession, receives the congratulations, 
which are then customarily presented, 1 K. 1: 35, 48. comp. 2 K. 
9: 13. 11: 19. 

It is almost unnecessary to remark, that, at the accession of 
king Saul to the monarchy, when there was neither diadem, throne, 
nor sceptre, many of these ceremonies were not observed. The 
most of them also were omitted in the case of conquest, when the 
conqueror himself, without consulting the people or their principal 
men, designated the king for the nation, whom he had subdu- 
ed, merely gave him another name, in token of his new dignity, 
exacted the oath of fidelity, and signalized the event by a feast, 
2 K. 23: 34. 24: 17. 2 Chron. 36: 4. 

§ 224. Royal Robe, Diadem, and Crown. 

The robe, which was worn by kings, as might be expected 
from their elevated rank, was costly and gorgeous ; and the retinue 
which attended them, was both large in point of number, and splen- 
did in respect to appearance, Ezek. 28: 13 — 20. 1 K. iv. The 
materials, of which their robe was made, was fine, white, linen or 
cotton ; the usual colour was purple, nogcf uga xul fivaaog, y^S 
fmiun , Luke 16: 18. Rev. 18: 12, 16. The kings of Media and 
Persia appear to have used silk, Est. 6: 8. 10: 11. 8: 15. 

Among the appropriate ornaments of the king's person, there 
was none so rich and valuable anciently, and there is none so cost- 
ly and splendid at the present day in Asia, as the royal diadem ; 
which is irradiated with pearls and gems. This article of their 
dress, also the chain for the neck and the bracelets for the arms, 
were worn by them constantly. In Persia a diadem was worn not 

278 § 225. THE THRONE. 

only by the king himself, but likewise, with a little different shape 
in its construction, by his relations and others, to whom special fa- 
vours had been conceded, Est. 8: 15. 

As far as respects the form of the diadem, (in Hebrew denom- 
inated ^T3 ,) we have only to observe, that it was a fillet, two 
inches broad, bound round the head, so as to pass the forehead 
and temples, and tied behind. It had its origin from the fillet or 
ribband, which, in the most ancient times, was tied round the hair 
for the purpose of confining it, and which was used, subsequently, 
to secure the head-dress upon the head. 

The colour of the diadem seems to have varied in different 
countries. That of the diadem of the Persian kings, (according to 
Curtius VI. 11.) was purple mingled with white^ Ps. 89: 39. 2 Sam. 
1: 10. 2 K. 11: 12. 2 Chron. 23: 11. 

Crowns, ni"lD^ , l"l*Tt}>, were likewise in use, 2 Sam. 12: 30. 
Zech. 6: 11, 14. Ps. 21: 3. These words are also used, in some 
instances, to denote a diadem, and likewise an ornamental head- 
dress for the ladies. It may be, moreover, that they are used to 
signify a sort of mitre, which ascends very high and is made of 
metal ; of which we have given an engraved representation in 
the large German Edition of this Work, Part I. Vol. II. tab. IX. 
No. 4 and 8. It is possible, that the forms of those crowns, which 
were worn by kings at the earliest period, resembled that of the mi- 
tre in the engraving referred to, but it is a point, which is by no 
means determined. 

§ 225. The Throne, tf&3 . 

The Throne was a seat with a back and arms, and of so great 
height, as to render a footstool dHH,, necessary, Gen. 41: 40. Ps. 
110: 1. Curtius V. 7. 

The throne of Solomon, which consisted wholly of gold orna- 
mented with ivory, was made in this manner, excepting that the 
, back was a little curved, and contiguous to each arm or side, was 
placed the figure of a lion, (the symbol of a king,) 1 K. 10: 18 — 20. 
2 Chron. 9: 17. This throne was placed on a flooring, elevated 
six steps, on each of which steps, and on either side, was the figure 
of a lion, making twelve of them in the whole. 

It was customary for the high priest, previous to the time of 

$ 226. THE SCEPTRE. 


the monarchy, if not to sit upon a throne properly so called, at 
least, to take a position on an elevated seat, 1 Sam. 1:9. 4: 18. 

Both the " throne" itself, and likewise " sitting upon the throne" 
are expressions used tropically, to denote power, and government, 
2 Sam. 3: 10. Ps. 9: 7. 89: 44. Is. 47: 1. etc. That the throne of 
the Hebrew kings is also called the " throne of Jehovah" origina- 
ted from the fact, that those kings were in reality his vicegerents, 
and exercised in respect to God a vicarious authority, 2 Chron. 
9: 8. 

In some passages, a throne is assigned to God, not only as the 
king of the Hebrews, but also as the ruler of the universe, Job 23: 
3. Exod. 17: 16. Is. 6: 1. 1 K. 22: 19. It is represented, as a 
chariot of thunder, drawn by cherubim, d^anS , Ezek. 1:3, et 
seq. 2 K. 19: 15. 1 Chron. 13: 6. Ps. 18: 11. Hence the cheru- 
bim, placed over the ark of the covenant, represented the throne of 
God, as the ark itself was his footstool, Ps. 99: 5. 132: 7. 1 Chron. 
28: 2. These images are magnified and rendered more intense, 
when it is said of God, " that heaven is his throne and earth his 
footstool," Is. 66: 1. Matt. 5: 34. 

§ 226. The Sceptre. 

The sceptre of king Saul was a spear, rP2ft, 1 Sam. 18: 10. 22: 
6. This agrees with what Justin, (Lib. 43. c. 3,) relates, viz. that 
in ancient times kings bore a spear, instead of a sceptre. 

But generally, as appears from the Iliad itself, the sceptre, 
DSl?? (cornp. Ezek. 19: 11.) was a wooden rod or staff, which was 
not much short, in point of length, of the ordinary height of the 
human form, and was surmounted with an ornamental ball on the 
upper extremity, as may still be seen in the ruins of Persepolis. 
This sceptre was either overlaid with gold, or, according to the re- 
presentation of Homer, was adorned with golden studs and rings. 

If we endeavour to seek for the origin of this ensign of royal 
authority, we shall find the first suggestion of it either in the pasto- 
ral staff, that was borne by shepherds, or in those staves, which, 
at the earliest period, were carried by persons in high rank, mere- 
ly for show and ornament, Gen. 38: 18. Num. 17: 7. Ps. 23: 4. 

A sceptre is used tropically for the royal dignity and authority, 



and a just sceptre for just government, Gen. 49: 10. Num. 24: 7. 
Amos 1: 5, 8. Jer. 48: 17. Ps. 45: 6. 

§ 227. The Royal Table. 

The table of the Hebrew kings, and every thing connected with 
it, exhibited the same marks of exorbitant luxury, as may be wit- 
nessed at this day under like circumstances in Asia. Vast num- 
bers of persons, who acted, in some capacity or other, as the ser- 
vants or the officers of the king, were reckoned among those, who 
drew their sustenance from the palace ; and hence it very naturally 
happened, that immense quantities of provisions were consumed, 
1 K. 4: 22, 23. 

In the earlier periods of the Hebrew monarchy, the table of 
the kings was set with numerous articles of gold, especially on 
occasion of feasts, of which there was no deficiency, 1 K. 10; 21. 
To impart an eclat and a joy to feasts, that were prepared by the 
king, there were present not only musicians, but also ladies, whose 
business it was to dance ; although this latter class of personages 
do not appear to be spoken of among " the singing men, and the 
singing women," that are mentioned in 2 Sam. 19: 35. The splen- 
dour of preparation, which has been alluded to, and the class- 
es of persons, who were invited in order to increase the hilarity 
of the occasion, we must suppose, found a place, (more or less 
according to circumstances,) in all the royal festivals, of which we 
have an account in the Bible, Gen. 40: 20. Dan. 5: 1. Matt. 22: 1, 
et seq. Mark 6: 21. 

In Persia the queen herself seems to have made one of the par- 
ty at such times, and at Babylon other ladies of distinction ; but 
they were in the habit of retiring, as soon as the men gave indica- 
tions, that they began to feel the effects of the wine, Dan. 5: 2. Est. 
1: 9. 5: 4, 8. 7: 1. Curtius V. 5. Herod. I. 199. 

But among the Hebrews, there was a class of royal festivals of 
a peculiar kind ; such as were not known in other nations. As 
God was their king, they were in the habit, at the season of the great 
national festivals, of preparing a feast, either at the tabernacle or 
in Jerusalem, of the thank-offering sacrifices, and in this way they 
participated in a season of joy, of which God himself, who was the 
ruler of the nation, might be considered, as the immediate author. 



The blood of the sacrifices, which were thus appropriated, was 
shed at the foot of the altar, and some parts of them burnt upon it. 

§ 228. Seclusion of Kings, Journeys, etc. 

In the East, those, who sustain the office of kings, very rarely 
make their appearance in public, and to obtain access to them in 
any way, is a matter of great difficulty. Among the Persians, a per- 
son was forbidden to make his appearance, in the presence of a 
monarch, without being expressly invited, under the penalty of 
punishment with death, Est. 4: It. Herod. III. 48. In more re- 
mote times, when kings had more to do personally in the manage- 
ment of their affairs, it may well be concluded, that they lived in 
less seclusion, and it is quite certain, that there was a very free 
access to the monarchs of the Jews, 2 Sam. 18: 4. 19: 7. 2 K. 22: 
10. Jer. 38: 7. 

It was esteemed a good and propitious omen, if any one was so 
fortunate, as to behold the face of the king, Prov. 29: 26. Is. 33: 
17. The tropical expressions, therefore, " to see God" must be 
understood to signify the same, as to experience his favour. 

When the kings of Asia perform long journeys, they are sur- 
rounded with a great and splendid retinue. When they journey 
into the Provinces, one runs before, who announces the approach 
of the distinguished guest, in order that the roads may be in readi- 
ness, and every thing else, that is necessary, may be prepared. 
The forerunner, on such an occasion, is denominated in the Persian 
" the joyful messenger." Comp. evccyytXtoiyQ and ^tfbft, 

Mai. 3: 1. Is. 62: 10—12. 

The Talmudists contend, that God himself has such a forerun- 
ner. They call him, "rntatttt , and 'J ! nt2t2tt, Metatron. They 
consult the following passages in respect to his existence and 
character, viz. Zech. 3: 1, 3. 4: 5, et seq. Gen. 16: 10—14. 22: 15. 
Exod. 3: 4—20. 20: 2, 3. 23: 20—23. Is. 48: 16. 43: 14 ; and 
think, that they are at liberty to conclude from them, that Meta- 
tron is supreme and uncreated, that in his character he approach- 
es nearest to God himself, and is the same being, who anciently ap- 
peared to the patriarchs, and is expressly called God. Consult 
Buxtorf's Chaldaic, Talmudic, and Rabbinic Lexicon, col. 1192, 




and also the Appendix to my Hermeneutics, Fasc. I. p. 58 — 

The Hebrew kings, when they travelled, either rode on asses 
and mules, (2 Sam. 13: 29. 17: 23. 1 K. 1: 33—38.) or were car- 
ried on chariots, being preceded by the soldiers, who sustained the 
part of body-guards, 1 K. 1: 5. 2 K. 9: 17, 21. 10: 15. 

§ 229. The Royal Palace and Gardens. 

The monarchs of the East were accustomed to seek for glory 
by building magnificent palaces and temples, by hewing sepulchres 
out of stone, by planting gardens, and building fortifications ; in a 
word by doing any thing, which might tend to strengthen and 
ornament their cities, especially the one, which held the distin- 
guished rank of a metropolis. Such were the associations of dig- 
nity, and worth, and elevation, connected with the metropolis, that 
a person was said " to ascend up into it" or " to descend from it" 
even though it were situated, as was the case with Babylon, 
upon a plain, 1 K. 12: 27, 28. 22: 2. Ezra 7: 6, 7. Acts 8: 5, 15. 
15: 2. 18: 22. 24: 1, etc. 

Among the edifices, upon which were expended much ingenui- 
ty and wealth, in order to render them suitably splendid, the royal 
palace deserves particular mention. The palace of the kings oc- 
curs, in the most ancient times, as well as at the present day, un- 
der the name of " the Gate," 2 Sam. 15: 2. Dan. 2: 49. Est. 2: 19, 
21. 3: 2, 3. comp. Matt. 16: 18. 

§ 230. Veneration paid to Kings, and Titles which were be- 
stowed UPON THEM. 

It was contrary to the law of Moses for a man to speak ill of a 
magistrate, even in a clandestine manner. Although this law was 
not enforced by a penalty, it was religiously observed; and kings, 
especially, were the objects of the greatest veneration, 1 Sam, 24: 
4 — 15. 26: 6 — 20. Those, who from a neglect to render that ve- 
neration, which was due to his character, had given offence to the 
king, were liable to be punished with death. Still there were not 
wanting regicides, especially in the kingdom of Israel, in which 
morals were more corrupted, than in that of Judah. 

§ 230. TITLES OF KINGS, ETC. 283 

Magistrates are sometimes called gods, both in poetry, 

Ps. 82: 1, 6, 7. 138: 1, and sometimes in prose likewise, Exod. 4: 
16. 7: 1. The Hebrew word etymologically means one, who is to 
be feared or venerated, and this is the ground of its application in 
the present instance. It is worthy of remark, however, that it is 
never applied to kings, except perhaps in Ps. 45: 7, 8. In other in- 
stances, the word fl*l&; the Lord, rjr ;73 , the king, rni"P rp"«B» the 
anointed or inaugurated of Jehovah, are the usual appellations ap- 
plied to a monarch, and the customary titles of address, 1 Sam. 12: 
3—5. 24:7—11. 26:9—11,16,23. 2 Sam. 19:21. 23.1. Ps. 
132: 17. The word flhtftt the anointed, is synonymous with ^», 
king. Accordingly we find in Is. 45: i. the following expressions 
in regard to Cyrus, " Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cy- 
rus, whose right hand I have holden" etc. 

In poetry the king is sometimes denominated the son of God, 
a phraseology, which has its origin from 2 Sam. 7: 14. and 1 Chron. 
17: 13. We see in this an adequate and a satisfactory reason, why 
the inauguration of a king is called in poetry his birth, Ps. 2: 6 — 8, 
12 ; and why a king, who, from any circumstance, is peculiarly 
exalted, is denominated the first-born of the kings of the earth, i. e. 
the most illustrious, Ps. 89: 27. Among the appellations of honour, 
usually bestowed upon monarchs, which have been mentioned, the 
Messiah and the Son of God were in a subsequent age particu- 
larly applied to Jesus, the memorable descendant of David, who had 
been so long predicted, John 1: 41, 49. 4: 25. Matt. 1: 16—18. 16: 
16. Luke 4: 41. 

In many nations, it appears, that there existed a sort of ap- 
pellative for their monarchs, which was applied indiscriminately to 
every individual, who sat upon the throne. 

Appellatives for monarchs. 

(1.) Cesar, a general name for king or emperor among the Ro- 

(2.) Ptolemy, an appellative used in the same way among the 
more recent Egyptians. 

(3.) Agag. This was the common name for the kings of the 
Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15: 20. comp. Num. 24: 7. 

(4.) Had ad, Adad, or Ben Had ad, the name for the kings of 
Syria, 2 K. 8: 9. 1 K. 15: 18. 


(5.) AbIxMelech, the same among the Philistines, Ps. 34: 1. 
Gen. 20: 2. 26: 10. comp. 1 Sam. 21: 12. 

(6.) Candace, the usual appellation of the Ethiopian queens, 
Strabo. p. 281. Dio Cassius, Lib. IV. p. 525 comp. Acts 8: 27. 

The word Pharaoh, used so often in reference to the mon- 
archs of Egypt, is not, as some might be induced to suppose, an ap- 
pellative of this kind, nor the word Darius, which is applied in a 
similar way to those of Persia. The proper signification of both 
these words is no other than that of king or monarch, and this signi- 
fication is itself sufficient to account for the frequent recurrence of 
these words in connexion with the rulers of those nations. That my 
assertion in respect to Darius is not without foundation, will appear 
by collating the Zendish word "SV-n Darafesch, which is the same 
with the Persian *nan Dara, king. It is explained, however, in 
Herodotus (VI. 98.) by the word ig^afjg conqueror. Compare my 
Introduction to the Old Testament, P. II. § 57 and § 66. 

We find in poetry, that kings are sometimes denominated 
shepherds ; and sometimes indeed the husbands of the state. The 
state on the contrary is called sometimes the wife of the king, 
sometimes a virgin, and sometimes the mother of the citizens. It is 
likewise represented, as a widow, and in some instances, as childless. 
Hence God, who was the king of the Hebrews, was the husband 
of the state, and we find that the Hebrew commonwealth, as might 
be expected from the general aspect of this language, is represent- 
ed, as his spouse. Whenever, therefore, she became idolatrous, 
she was denominated, to keep up a consistency of language, an 
adulteress or fornicatress. 

§ 231. The Duties of the Hebrew Monarchs. 

At first, kings fulfilled those offices, which subsequently de- 
volved upon the persons, who acted as generals, as judges, and 
as high priests, Gen. 14: 18, 19. This accounts for the circum- 
stance, that the word "jtnb signifies both a priest, and the supreme 
civil magistrate, Exod. 2: 16. 3: 1. It occurs with this last signifi- 
cation, as late as the time of David, 2 Sam. 8: 18. comp. 1 Chron. 
18: 19. In respect to the kings of the Hebrews, however, it ap- 
pears, that they were not at liberty to assume, or to exercise the 
sacred functions, which were conferred upon the tribe of Levi, 


and upon the family of Aaron, 2 Sam. 15: 1, et seq. 2 Chron. 26: 
16, et seq. 

They had the oversight of them, nevertheless, so far as to see, 
that all things were done rightly, a privilege which was well used 
by David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah, but abused by many 
others to the purpose of introducing idolatry. 

The Hebrews were accustomed to expect of their kings, the 
fulfilment of two offices at least, those of judge and chieftain ; both 
of which, they in truth did fulfil, either themselves, or with the 
assistance of other persons, whom they had chosen, 1 Sam. 8: 5. 12: 
12. comp. 2 Chron. 26: 21. Is. 16:5. We learn, that kings em- 
ployed generals to conduct their armies, as early as Genesis, (21: 
22.) and that David, though a warriour, did not always go to battle. 
The Mosaic institutions themselves recognized the existence of a 
class of inferiour judges, and the only trouble, that was occasioned 
to the kings afterwards on the subject, was that of selecting them 
and seeing that they fulfilled their duty, 1 Chron. 23: 4. 26: 29, 
et seq. 2 Chron. 19: 5—11. 

It was the duty of the king to try appeals from these judges. 
This, clearly, was a much better course, than if he had underta- 
ken to try all the causes himself, or even the greater part of them, 
2 Sam. 15: 2, et seq. 1 Sam. 17: 9—19. 

§ 232. Extent of the Royal Power and Prerogatives. 

It is known, that the kings of Asia at the present day exercise 
the most unlimited and arbitrary power, but this was not the state 
of things anciently in all instances, however it might have been in 
some; for the power of the Phenician and Philistine kings was re- 

Moses himself, it seems, (Deut. 17: 14 — 20.) imposed certain 
conditions upon the kings, who should afterwards arise in Pales- 
tine ; and " the elders of Israel" as they are termed, those, who 
from their rank had the principal management in the civil con- 
cerns of the nation, exacted conditions likewise in writing, respect- 
ing the manner, in which they should exercise the government, 
both from David and Saul, which they received with an oath for 
themselves and their successors, 1 Sam. 10: 25. 2 Sam. 5: 3. comp. 
1 K. 12: 1 — 18. It may be added in confirmation of the fact, 
that the power of the Hebrew kings was restricted, that the heads 


of tribes, or the princes, possessed of themselves very great pow- 
er, and so far may be considered, as having a negative on the au- 
thority of the king. It may likewise be remarked, that the pro- 
phets felt themselves at liberty, in the character of divine messen- 
gers, to reprove those monarchs, who had violated their prerogatives 
by doing that which was wrong. But notwithstanding all this, it is 
a fact, that many kings abused to bad purposes, the power, which 
was committed to them. 

As the king acted the part of vicegerent to Jehovah himself, 
(a point, which is very clearly established in the Mosaic Institutes,) 
it was his duty and his right, as a matter of course, to secure 
obedience to the Laws of the state, and to punish the violations of 
them. He, accordingly, had the power, not only to issue his com- 
mands, in the manner of the Judges, but also to enact permanent 
laws, 2 Chron. 19: 11. Is. 10: 1. When we say, that the Hebrew 
kings had the power of enacting permanent laws, it seems natu- 
ral to observe, that they had not the right of making laws of the 
same character with those of the Persian kings, which, it appears, 
were immutable, and could never be changed, Est. 1: 19. Dan. 6: 
16. It may be inferred from 2 Sam. xiv. that the Hebrew kings, 
in some instances, dispensed, on their own authority, with the in- 
fliction of the penalty, which was threatened against an infringe- 
ment of the Mosaic Laws ; but a liberty of this kind was certainly 
very rarely taken by those kings, who had a well-founded claim to 
being called religious. 

David, accordingly, (2 Sam. 21: 1 — 14,) delivered up the hom- 
icides to be punished by the avengers of blood, and, in first Kings, 
(2: 1 — 9,) left orders to his successor to punish certain persons, 
whom he himself, on account of his situation, had not been able to 
treat, as they deserved. 

§ 233. Methods of promulgating Laws, etc. 

The Laws of Moses, as well as the temporary edicts of Joshua, 
(1: 11, 12. 3: 2, et seq.) were communicated to the people by 
means of the genealogists, [in the English version, officers.] The 
laws and edicts of those, who subsequently held the office of kings, 
were proclaimed publicly by criers, (Jer. 34: 8, 9. Jon. 3: 5 — 7.) 
a class of persons, who occur in Daniel, (3: 4. 5: 29.) under the 



word tfTI^S. They were made known in distant provinces, towns, 
and cities by messengers, sent for that purpose, 1 Sam. 11: 7. 
Amos 4: 5. 2 Chron. 36: 22. Ezra 1: 1. 

The message thus to be communicated in any town, or city, 
was publicly announced, when the messenger had arrived, in the 
gate of the city, or in some other public place. At Jerusalem, 
it was announced in the temple, where there were always a great 
many persons present. It was for the same reason, viz. on account 
of the concourse of people there assembled, that the prophets were 
in the habit of uttering their prophecies in the temple, which were 
the edicts of God, the Supreme King. 

In a more recent age, the learned, the Saviour himself, and the 
Apostles taught in the same place, Jer. 7: 2, 3. 11: 6. 17: 19, 20. 
36: 9—19. John 10: 3. Luke 2: 46. Matt. 26: 55. Mark 12: 35. 
Acts 3: 11. 5: 12. 

§ 234. On the Royal Revenues. 

The conquerors of a country not only exacted tribute from 
those, whom they had subdued, but were likewise, in the habit of 
compelling them to render certain menial services, [which in Eng- 
lish are denominated soccage, i. e. services in husbandry and the 
like, rendered to the lord of the fee, as a sort of consideration for 
the tenure of the lands.] Both tribute and soccage are compre- 
hended under the word Oft , though they are sometimes expressed 
by the word TiftZJi which usually signifies a. gift, Exod. 1: 11. Josh. 
16: 10. 

But whatever they might exact from those, whom the fortunes 
of war had placed in their power, it does not appear, that kings 
demanded from their own people, or exacted, when they chose and 
of their own arbitrary will, either labour, or burdens of any kind 
whatever, Gen. 47: 19—27. Herod. III. 97. In fact the Hebrews 
were so tenacious of their personal rights in this respect, that they 
went so far, as to define in express terms, by a particular agree- 
ment or covenant for that purpose, what services should be ren- 
dered to the king, and what he could legally require, 1 Sam. 10: 
25. 2 Sam. 5: 3. 

It is not precisely known to us what the terms of this cove- 
nant were, but it certainly did not give the king the liberty of ex- 

288 § 234. sources of the royal revenue. 

acting from the people all the various services, which are enumera- 
ted in 1 Sam. vm. As there seems then to be nothing especial- 
ly peculiar in respect to this subject among the Hebrews, it is very 
natural to conclude, that the sources of revenue to their kings, 
were nearly the same with those in other oriental countries. With 
this general remark in view, and with the aid of various hints, 
which occur in the Scriptures, relative to the point in question, we 
proceed to make the following statement. 

Sources of the royal Revenue. 

I. Presents, which were given voluntarily, 1 Sam. 10: 27. 16: 


II. The produce of the royal flocks, 1 Sam. 21: 7,8. 2 Sam. 13: 
23. 2 Chron. 26: 10. 32: 28, 29, comp. Gen. 47: 6. 

III. The royal demesnes, vineyards, and olive gardens, which 
had been taken up from a state of nature by the authority of the 
sovereign, or were the confiscated possessions of criminals ; they 
were tilled either by slaves or by conquered nations, 1 K. 21:9 — 16. 
Ezek. 46: 16—18. 1 Chron. 27: 28. 2 Chron. 26: 10. 

IV. That the Hebrews by agreement promised the payment of 
certain tributes appears from 1 Sam. 17: 25. [Consult Gesenius 
on the word ""iisn .] Perhaps they were the same with the tythe 
or tenth part of their income, which, as may be inferred from 1 
Sam. 8: 15. was paid by other nations to their kings. The collec- 
tion and management of imposts and taxes appear to have been 
committed to the officers, who are mentioned, 1 K. 4: 6 — 9. 1 
Chron. 27: 25. Whatever the amount of the customary tax was, 
it appears to have been increased in the reign of Solomon ; and the 
people after his death expressed a wish to have it diminished, 
1 K. 12: 13. Something appears also to have been paid to the 
king as a tribute in ready money, which occurs under the word 
^272 commonly rendered a present, 2 Chron. 17: 5. comp. Ezek. 
45: 13—18. 

V. One source of revenue to the king was the spoils of con- 
quered nations, to whose share the most precious of them fell. It 
was in this way, that David collected the most of his treasures. 
The nations, which were subdued in war, likewise paid tribute, 
which was also denominated nrj:». It was paid partly in ready 



money, partly in flocks, grain, etc. 1 K. 4: 21. Ps. 72:10. 2 
Chron. 27: 5. 

VI. The tribute imposed upon merchants, who passed through 
the Hebrew territories, 1 K. 10: 15. 

In Persia, Darius the Median, the same with Cyaxares II. was 
the first person who enforced a system of taxation, ttfn , «T7?£ , 
Dan. 6: 2, 3. Strabo, accordingly, is in an error, when, (p. 735.) 
on the authority of Polycritus, he makes Darius Hystaspes the au- 
thor of this mode of raising a revenue. It is true, however, that 
the system of taxation, which had been laid aside for three years by 
Pseudo-Smerdis, was renewed by Darius Hystaspes, and that the 
amount, raised in this way, was increased by Xerxes, Est. 10: 1. 

Other sources of revenue to the king, besides those already 
mentioned, were the excise S^M or tax on articles of consumption, 
and the toll *fen , Ezra 4: 14, : 19, 20. 

§ 235. Magistrates under the Monarchy. 

Judges, genealogists, the heads of families or clans, and those 
who, from the relation they sustained to the common class of peo- 
ple, may be called the princes of the tribes, retained their author- 
ity after, as well as before, the introduction of a monarchical form 
of government, and acted the part of a legislative assembly to the 
respective cities, in or near which they resided, I K. 12: 1 — 24. 
1 Chron. 23: 4. 26: 29, et seq. 28: 1—21. 29: 6. The judges and ge- 
nealogists were appointed by the king, as were other royal officers, 
the principal of whom were as follows. 

I. The royal counsellors, 1 K. 12: 6—12. 1 Chron. 27: 32. 
Is. 3: 3. 19: 11—13. Jer. 26: 11. 

II. The prophets, who were consulted by pious kings, 2 Sam. 
7: 2. 1 K. 22: 7, 8. 2 K. 19: 2—20. 22: 14—20. Others of a dif- 
ferent character imitated the example of heathen kings, and call- 
ed in to their aid soothsayers and false prophets, 1 K. 18: 22. 
22: 6. compare Exod. 7: 11. 8: 18. Dan. 1: 20. 2: 2. 5: 8. Jer. 
27: 9. 

III. The secretary or scribe, ■steTHfcJ, who committed to 
writing not only the edicts and sayings of the king, but every thing 
of a public nature, that related to the kingdom ; and whose busi- 
ness it was likewise to present to the king in writing an account 




of the state of affairs, 2 Sam. 8: 16. 20: 24. 1 K. 4: 3. 2 K. 18: 18, 37. 
1 Chron. 18: 15. 2 Chron. 32: 8. Is. 36: 3. Est. 3: 12. 6: 1. 10: 2. 
comp. Herod. VI. 100. VII. 9. VIII. 90. 

IV. The high priest is to be reckoned among those, who had 
access to the king in the character of counsellors, 2 Sam. 8: 17. 
1 Chron. 18: 16 ; as one would naturally expect from the prevalent 
notions in respect to a theocracy. 

§ 236. Officers of the Palace. 

In oriental countries, the persons, who are immediately attach- 
ed to the palace, and make, as it were, the king's domestic esta- 
blishment, are commonly numerous. The principal among them 
are as follows, 

I. ttJnShtl 1 Chron. 27: 25—31 ; who, (1 K. 4: 5, 7—19.) 
are denominated tPSaB , and, in 1 K. 20: 15. are called ^ijj 
rn2"H?2n . They merely supplied the king's table, and are not to 
be confounded with those, who exacted the tribute, Gfa , (1 K. 4: 6.) 

II. rV3fT bs> T , :.2 , otherwise called rPSn iSjfi? , the g over no ur 
of the palace, answering, as to his employment and standing, to the 
stewards, who were employed by rich men, to superintend their 
affairs. He had charge of the servants, and indeed of every 
thing, which pertained to the palace, 1 K. 4: 6. 18: 3. 2 K. 18: 
18. 2 Chron. 28: 7. Is. 36: 3. 37: 2. 22: 15, et seq. He wore, as a 
mark of his office, a robe of a peculiar make, bound with a pre- 
cious girdle, and carried on his shoulder a richly ornamented key, 
Is. 22: 22. 

III. b& ^Vto the keeper of the wardrobe, the place, in 
which were deposited the garments, destined by the king for those, 
whom he designed particularly to honour, 2 K. 10: 22. 

III. Sj^3|H Or 5*2, the king's friend or intimate. It was 
the person, who sustained this relation to the king, with whom he 
conversed with the greatest familiarity, who sometimes had the 
oversight of the palace, and sometimes even the charge of the 
kingdom, 1 K. 4: 5. 1 Chron. 27: 33. In the time of the Macca- 
bees, however, the king's friend was a phrase of somewhat broader 
signification, and was applied to any one, who was employed to ex- 
ecute the royal commands, or who sustained a high office in the 
government, 1 Mace. 10: 65. 11: 26, 27. 



V. The king's lifeguard. They were denominated by the 
Egyptians and Babylonians tPfpltt executioners ; and, by the He- 
brews, in the time of David, VP-O cherethites, i. e. extirpators, 
Gen. 37: 36. 39: 1. 2 K. 25: 8.' 10: 11—20. 2 Sam. 20: 23. 1 K. 
I: 38. 2: 25, 34. The commander of this body of men was called 
the prefect or the captain of the guard, tPfratan "lip, likewise 
tl^Haaifl in, Gen. 40: 3, 4. Jer. 39: 9—11. 40: 1—5. 41: 10. 43: 
6. 52: 12—20. Dan. 2: 14, 15. They derived their name from the 
fact, that they were the persons, whose business it was to execute 
the sentence of death, when it had been pronounced by the king. 

In the time of David, they were likewise called n t3^S 
pelethites, i. e. the expeditious. In the reign of Saul, and also 
subsequently to the time of David, the name commonly applied to 
them was that of runners, STS'n ; for although they were soldiers, 
and it was their particular business to guard the palace, they were, 
nevertheless employed to transmit the royal laws and edicts to 
distant places, to run before the king's chariot, as a part of his re- 
tinue, and likewise, as we have no reason to doubt, when the king 
walked out with his wives, to drive the multitude from the way ; a 
custom which still prevails in the East, 2 Sam. 15: 1. 1 K. 14: 27. 
2 K. 10: 14. 

In Persia, the king's runners were a class of persons, distinct 
from his guards. In order that they might be known, where they 
went, they bore a peculiar sort of poniard, called changar, in the 

Persian ^ ry a Ay. They had the liberty of compelling any one, 
whom they met, to furnish them with a horse or other animal to 
ride on, or to go himself, and show the way. Hence the origin of 
the exotic Greek word dyyaQsvtiv, angariare, Matt. 5: 41. 27: 32. 
Mark 15: 21. 

The lifeguard, (otherwise called the pretorian band,) of the 
Maccabees, and subsequently of Herod and his sons, were foreign- 
ers. They bore a lance or long spear, and were thence denominat- 
ed in Greek, onexovlazajgeg, Mark 6: 27. 


^237. the king's harem. 

§ 237. The King's Harem. 

The women of the king's Harem are to be considered, as 
making a part of his retinue or equipage ; since, generally 
speaking, they were merely destined to augment the pomp, that 
was wont to be attached to his character and his situation. The 
multiplication of women in the character of wives and concubines 
was forbidden, it is true, by Moses, (Deut. 17: 17.) but the Hebrew 
kings, especially Solomon, gave but too little heed to his admoni- 
tions, and too readily and wickedly exposed themselves to the dan- 
gers, which Moses had anticipated, as the result of pursuing the 
course, which he had interdicted, IK. 11: 1 — 3. 2 Chron. 11:21. 

The kings willingly encountered any expense, (whatever it 
might be,) which might be deemed necessary, in ornamenting the 
persons of their women, and of the eunuchs, (the black ones espe- 
cially,) who guarded them. It may be remarked here, that eu- 
nuchs were brought at a great expense from foreign countries, in 
as much as castration was contrary to the Mosaic law, Lev. 22: 
24. Deut. 23: 1. For proof of the employment of eunuchs at the 
Hebrew court, see the following passages, 1 K. 22: 9. 2 K. 8: 6. 
9:32,33. 20:18. 23:11. Jer. 13: 23. 38:7. 39:10. 41:16. 
The maids of the Harem were considered, (at least, when he wish- 
ed to have them so considered,) in the light of concubines to the 
king. But the successor to the throne, although he came into pos- 
session of the Harem, was not at liberty to have any intercourse 
with the members of it. 

Adonijah, accordingly, who, in his zeal to obtain Abishag, a 
concubine of David's, that had been untouched, let fall certain un- 
advised expressions relative to the kingdom, was punished with 
death ; having given both by the nature of the request, which 
was not customary and unlawful, and by the manner in which it 
was made, too evident indications of a seditious spirit, 1 K. 2: 13 
— 15, et seq. Though the king had unlimited power over the 
Harem, yet the wife who was chiefly in favour, and especially the 
mother of the king, had no little authority and weight in . political 
concerns, IK. 11:3. 2 Chron. 21:6. 22: 3. Hence in the 
Books of Kings and Chronicles the mother of the king is every 


where spoken of ; and in truth, in Jer. 29: 2. is expressly mention- 
ed among the royal counsellors. 

§ 238. The Method in which the Officers and others held 
Intercourse with the King. 

The kings of the East, as has been already observed, are 
almost inaccessible. Those, who seek any favour, or wish to pre- 
sent any accusation, are under the necessity of giving a paper to 
that effect to one of the officers, attached to the court, in order 
that it may be handed by him to the king, 2 K. 4: 13. In case 
no one is willing to receive it, they themselves take the opportuni- 
ty, when the king is promenading in public, to present it to him 
in person. If the inhabitants of a province wish to accuse thr 
governour, many hundreds of them, assembling at the Harem, 
utter loud exclamations, tear their clothes, and scatter dust in the 
air, till a messenger is sent from the king to inquire the cause, 
Exod. 5: 15—19. 

But to the kings of the Hebrews, as has also been stated, there 
was more easy access, 2 Sam. 14: 2, 3. 15: 2, 3. 

Those, who went before the king, even the principal officers 
in the government, appeared in his presence with the accustomary 
obeisance and ceremony, and stood, like servants before their mas- 
ter. Hence to " stand before the king" is a phrase, which means 
the same, as to be occupied in his service and to perform some du- 
ty for him, Gen. 41: 46. 1 Sam. 22: 6, 7. 1 K. 10: 8. 12: 6 — 8. 
Dan. 1: 18. The same expressions are used in respect to the 
priests and Levites, who were the ministers or officers of God, to 
denote the religious services, which it was their part to perform, 
Deut. 10: 8. 17: 12. Jer. 15: 1. 18: 20. 28:5. Ps. 24: 3. Luke 18: 
11, 13. 

Those, who sustained the station of servants and officers to the 
king, were entirely dependent on his will, and, on the other hand, 
they exercised a similar arbitrary power, (for instance the gover- 
nours of provinces,) over those, who were immediately subject to 
themselves. Hence it is, that the prophets frequently complain of 
their oppressions, and violence. 

The royal officers of every grade are denominated the servants 
of the king, and, like the Orientals of the present day, they took a 


pride in being thus denominated. To this appellation is wont to 
be attached the glory of prompt obedience, prompt, though the 
command should be unjust. 

Those, who have the management of the collection of the 
revenues, or are entrusted indeed in any way, are not customari- 
ly called to an account. In case they are called upon to render 
an account of their proceedings, they show themselves prompt at 
the arts of deception ; but the consequence of an attempt at mis- 
representing or defrauding, is almost certain destruction, Luke 16: 
2. It should be observed, however, that the case was somewhat 
different in respect to Persia, in as much as the magistrates in the 
provinces were visited yearly by a legate from the king, who, being 
supported in his duties by the attendance of an army, examined in- 
to the condition of affairs, and the prevalent management of the 
governours, Zech. 1: 7 — 12. 

§ 239. Magistrates during and after the Captivity. 

The Hebrews, during the captivity, and after that period, con- 
tinued among them that class of officers, denominated heads of 
families, and perhaps likewise the princes of the tribes ; who, under 
the direction of the royal governours, ruled their respective tribes, 
and family associations, Ezek. 14: I. 20: 1 — 8. Ezra 1: 5. 4: 3. 5: 
5. 6: 8. Neh. 2: 16. 4: 13. 6: 17, 18. But it is most probable, that 
Jehoiachin, and afterwards, Shealtiel, and Zerubbabel held the 
first rank among them, or in other words, were their princes. 

After their return to their native country, the Hebrews obey- 
ed their nftE or president. Such were Zerubbabel, Ezra, and 
Nehemiah, who were invested with ample powers for the pur- 
poses of government, Ezra 7: 25. When from any cause, there 
was no person to act as president, authorised by the civil govern- 
ment, the high priest commonly undertook the government of the 

This state of things continued, while the Hebrews were under 
the Persians and Greeks, till the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, in 
whose reign, they appealed to arms, shook off the yoke of foreign 
subjugation, and having obtained their freedom, made their high 
priests princes, and at length kings. 

The Jews likewise, who were scattered abroad, and had taken 

§ 240. TETRARCHS. 


up their residence in countries at a distance from Palestine, had 
rulers of their own. The person, who sustained the highest office, 
among those who dwelt in Egypt, was denominated Alabarchus ; 
the magistrate at the head of the Syrian Jews was denominated 

While the Jews were under the Roman Government, they en- 
joyed the privilege of 'referring litigated questions to referees, 
whose decisions in reference to them, the Roman pretor was 
bound to see put in execution, Cod. L. I. Tit. 9. I. 8. dc Judaeis. 
As Christians, when they first made their appearance, were regard- 
ed, as a sect of the Jews, (Acts 23: 24.) they likewise enjoyed the 
same privilege. Paul, accordingly, blamed them, (1 Cor. 6: 1 — 7.) 
because they were in the habit of bringing their causes before the 
pretor, instead of leaving them out to referees. 

§ 240. Tetrarchs. 

After the subjugation of the Jews by the Romans, certain 
provinces of Judea, were governed by that class of Roman ma- 
gistrates, denominated Tetrarchs. The office of Tetrarch had its 
origin from the Gauls. Having, at a certain time, made an incur- 
sion into Asia Minor, they succeeded in taking from the king of 
Bithynia that part of it, which is denominated from their own 
name, Galatia. The Gauls, who made this invasion, consisted of 
three tribes ; and each tribe was divided into four parts or Te- 
trarchates, each of which obeyed its own Tetrarch. The Tetrarch 
was of course subordinate to the king. The appellation of Te- 
trarch, which was thus originally applied to the chief magistrate of 
the fourth part of a tribe, subject to the authority of the king, 
was afterwards extended in its application, and applied to any gov- 
ernours, subject to some king or emperor, without reference to the 
fact, whether they ruled, or not, precisely the fourth part of a 
tribe or people. Herod Antipas, accordingly, and Philip, although 
they did not rule so much as a fourth part of Judea, were denom- 
inated Tetrarchs, Matt. 14: 1. Luke 9: 7. Acts 13: 1. Although 
this class of rulers were dependent upon Cesar, i. e. the Roman 
emperor, they, nevertheless, governed the people, who were com- 
mitted to their immediate jurisdiction, as much according to their 
own choice and discretion, as if they had not been thus dependent. 



They were inferiour, however, in point of rank, to the EthnarcJis, 
who, although they did not publicly assume the name of king, 
were addressed with that title by their subjects ; as was the case, 
for instance, in respect to Archelaus, Matt. 2: 22. Josephus, Antiq. 
XVII. 11. 4. 

§ 241. Roman Procurators. 

Procurators, (a magistrate well known among the Romans,) are 
denominated in the New Testament i^yfjuovig, but it appears, that 
they are called by Josephus aihgoiiot. Judea, after the termina- 
tion of the Ethnarchate of Archelaus, was governed by rulers of this 
description, and likewise during the period, which immediately suc- 
ceeded the reign of Herod Agrippa. 

Procurators were sometimes Roman knights, and sometimes 
the freedmen of the emperor. Felix was one of the latter class, 
Acts 23: 24—26. 24: 3, 22—27. The procurator, if we may cred- 
it some remarks of Suetonius in his life of Claudius, which in 
truth, are confirmed by Tacitus in his History, (V. 9.) was for 
some particular reason, very dear to the emperor, but was never- 
theless, a very miserable governour. Festus also, according to 
Herodian, (IV. 8. 11.) was nfreedman, Acts 24: 27. 25: 12. 26: 24, 
25. It may be necessary to remark here by way of explanation, 
that procurators were sent by the emperor, independently of the 
vote or concurrence of the senate into those provinces, which 
had been reserved for his own use, and might be considered dur- 
ing his reign, as his personal property. They were commonly 
situated in the extremities of the empire. The business of the 
procurators, who were sent to them, was, to exact tribute, to ad- 
minister justice, and to repress seditions. Some of the procurators 
were dependent on the nearest proconsul or president ; for in- 
stance, those of Judea were dependent on the proconsul, gover- 
nour, or president of Syria. They enjoyed, however, great au- 
thority, and possessed the power of life and death. The only 
privilege in respect to the officers of government, that was grant- 
ed by the procurators of Judea to that nation, was the appoint- 
ment from among them of persons, to manage and collect the tax- 
es. In all other things, they administered the government them- 



selves, except that they frequently had resort to the counsel of other 
persons, Acts 4 23: 24—36. 24: 1—10. 25: 23. 

The military force, that was granted to the procurators of Ju- 
dea, consisted of six cohorts, amlgat, of which five were stationed 
at Cesarea, where they resided, and one at Jerusalem in the tow- 
er of Antonia, which was so situated as to command the temple, 
Acts 10: 1. 21: 32. It was the duty of the military cohorts to ex- 
ecute the procurator's commands, and to repress seditions, Matt. 
8: 5. 27: 27. 28: 12. John 19: 2, 23. Mark 15: 16. 

On the return of the great festivals, when there were vast 
crowds of people at Jerusalem, the procurators themselves went 
from Cesarea to that city in order to be at hand to suppress any 
commotions, which might arise, Matt. 27: 2 — 65. John 18: 29. 19: 

§ 242. Of the Tribute and Half-shekel of the Temple. 

The management of the provincial revenues was generally 
committed to the Roman knights, who were thence denominated 
dyyiTtlojvcu and jsXwpagxat, publicans, while the tax-gatherers or 
exactors, whom they employed, were termed leXuvcu. The case, 
however, was somewhat different in Judea, where the manage- 
ment of the revenues, as already observed, was committed to the 
Jews themselves ; so that those of them, to whom the manage- 
ment of these affairs was entrusted, eventually obtained an equal 
rank with the knights of Rome, Luke 19: 2. Josephus, Jewish 
War. II. 14. 9. 

The subordinate agents in collecting the revenues, Tflwvcu, 
who are denominated in the Vulgate, though somewhat incorrect- 
ly, publicans, took their position at the gates of cities, and in the 
public ways, and, at the place for that purpose, called the " re- 
ceipt of custom," examined the goods that passed, and received the 
monies that were to be paid, Matt. 9: 9. Mark 2: 14. Luke 5: 27, 
29. These tax-gatherers, if we may credit Cicero, were more in- 
clined to exact too much, than to belie the promise, they had 
made to their masters ; and were, accordingly, in consequence of 
their extortions, every where, especially in Judea, objects of hatred, 
and were reckoned in the same class with notorious sinners, Luke 
3: 13. Mark 2: 15, 16. comp. Talmud, Baba Kama c. 10, 113. Col. 




1. Nedarim c. 3. The Pharisees would have no communication 
with them, and one ground of their reproaches against the Saviour, 
was, that he did not refuse to sit at meat with persons of such a 
character, Matt. 5: 46, 47. 9: 10, 11. 11: 19. 18: 17. 21: 31, 32. 

The half-shekel tax was a tax or tribute to be paid every 
year by every adult Jew at the temple. It was introduced after 
the captivity, in consequence of a wrong understanding of certain 
expressions in the Pentateuch, and was a different thing both from 
the revenue, which accrued to the kings, tetrarchs, and ethnarchs, 
and from the general tax, that was assessed for the Roman Cesars. 
It was required, that this tax should be paid in Jewish coin, a cir- 
cumstance, to which an allusion is made in Matt. 22: 17 — 19. and 
likewise in Mark 12: 14, 15. It was in consequence of this state 
of things, (as the Talmudists assert, Shekalim, I. 1. 3.) that money- 
changers xoUvfiioicci, seated themselves in the temple, on the fif- 
teenth of the month Adar, and after, for the purpose of exchanging 
for those, who might wish it, Roman and Greek coins, for Jewish 
half-shekels. The prominent object of the temple money-changers 
was their own personal emolument, but the acquisition of property 
in this way was contrary to the spirit of the law in Deut. 23: 20, 21. 
It was for this reason, that Jesus drove them from the temple, Matt. 
21: 12. Mark 11: 15. John 2: 15. 

Messengers were sent abroad into other cities, for the purpose 
of collecting this tax, (Matt. 17: 25.) according to the Talmudists, 
(Shekalim I. 1. 3.) during the month Adar, who add further, that, 
in case payment was not made by the twenty-fifth of that month, a 
pledge was taken from the person, who was delinquent. 

The Jews, who collected this tax from their countrymen dwell- 
ing in foreign nations, transmitted the sums collected every year to 
Jerusalem. It is not surprising then, that the vast amount of treas- 
ures, of which we are informed, flowed into the temple, Josephus, 
Antiq. XIV. 7. 2. Cicero pro Flacco, 28. 




§ 243 Of Judges. 

According to the Mosaic Law, there were to be judges in all 
the cities, whose duty it was likewise to exercise judicial author- 
ity in the neighbouring villages ; but weighty causes and appeals 
went up to the supreme judge or ruler of the commonwealth, and in 
case of a failure here, to the high priest, Deut. 17: 8, 9. 

In the time of the monarchy, weighty causes and appeals went 
up of course to the king, who, in very difficult cases, seems to have 
consulted the high priest, as is customary at the present day among 
the Persians and Ottomans. 

The judicial establishment was reorganized after the captivity, 
and two classes of judges, the inferiour and superiour, were ap- 
pointed, Ezra 7: 25. The more difficult cases, nevertheless, and 
appeals, were either brought before the ruler of the state called Jitis f 
or before the high priest; until, in the age of the Maccabees, a su- 
preme, judicial tribunal was instituted, which is first mentioned un- 
der Hyrcanus II., Josephus, Antiq. XIV. 9. 3. 

This tribunal is not to be confounded with the seventy two 
counsellors, who were appointed to assist Moses in the civil admin- 
istration of the government, but who never fulfilled the office of 

§ 244. The Sanhedrin. 

This tribunal, which is properly called ovvtdgiov, Synedrium, 
but is denominated by the Talmudists Sanhedrin, was instituted 
in the time of the Maccabees, and was composed of seventy two 
members. The high priest generally sustained the office of presi- 



dent ttT&H or N^Sfj, in this tribunal. The next in authority, or 
the vice-president, was called in Hebrew h n 3 , likewise "p^ ; 
and the second vice-president, t33hn ; the former of whom sat on 
the right, and the latter on the left hand of the president, comp. 
Matt. 20:21. 

The members, who were admitted to a seat in the Sanhedrin, 
were as follows : 

I. Chief priests, ccgyttQelg, who are often mentioned in the 
New Testament and in Josephus, as if they were many in number. 
They consisted partly of priests, who had previously exercised the 
high-priesthood, and partly of the heads of the twenty four classes 
of priests, who were called, in an honorary way, high or chief 

II. Elders, 7TQia(5vTiQ0i. That is to say, the princes of the 
tribes, and the heads of family associations. 

III. The Scribes, or learned men. 

When we say, that scribes and elders were members of the 
Sanhedrin, we are not to be understood, as saying, that all the 
scribes or learned men of the nation, or that all the elders held a 
seat in that body ; but those only, who had obtained the privilege 
by election, or by a nomination from the ruling executive author- 
ity. For this reason, viz. because they were made members of 
the Sanhedrin in the same way, they are constantly joined togeth- 
er; TiQiGfivTiQOi xul ygaf.if.iaie7g, scribes and elders, Matt. 26: 57, 
59. 27: 3, 12, 20, 41. Acts 4: 5. 6: 12. 

The Talmudists assert, that this tribunal had secretaries and 
apparitors, and the very nature of the case forbids us to doubt the 
truth of the assertion. The place of their sitting, however, is a 
question, on which there is more difference of opinion. The 
Talmudists state, that it was in the temple, but Josephus, in his 
history of the Jewish war, (V. 4. 2. VI. 6. 3.) mentions §ovXr\v 
the council, fiovlsviriQiov the place of assembling, and also the Ar- 
chives, as being not far from the temple, on mount Zion. But in 
the trial of Jesus, it appears they were assembled, and that very has- 
tily, in the palace of the high priest, Matt. 26: 3, 57. John 18: 24. 

The Talmudists state, that when met, they took their seats in 
such a way as to form a semicircle, and that the president, and 
two vice-presidents occupied the centre. We learn from other 
sources, that they either sat upon the floor, a carpet merely be- 


ing spread under them, or upon cushions slightly elevated, with 
their knees bent and crossed ; as is the custom at the present day, 
in the East. 

Appeals and other weighty matters were brought before this 
tribunal. Among other questions of importance, subject to its de- 
cision, the Talmudists (Sanhedrin I. 5. X. 89.) include the inquiry, 
" Whether a person be a false prophet or not?" Comp. Luke 13: 
33. Its power had been limited, in the time of Christ, by the in- 
terference of the Romans. It was still, however, in the habit of 
sending its legates or messengers to the synagogues in foreign 
countries, Acts 9: 2.) and retained the right of passing the sen- 
tence of condemnation, or what is the same thing in amount, of 
decreeing punishment in cases, where there was proof of criminal- 
ity ; but the power of executing the sentence when passed was tak- 
en away from it, and lodged with the Roman procurator, John 18: 
pi. Sanhedrin p. 24. col. 2. There was one exception, it is true, 
during the procuratorship of Pilate, and only one ; who permitted 
the Sanhedrin themselves, in the case of Christ, to see the sen- 
tence, of which they had been the authors, put in execution, John 
18: 31. 19: 6. The stoning of Stephen was not done by the au- 
thority of the Sanhedrin, but in a riot, Acts vn. James, the broth- 
er of John, (Acts 12: 2.) was slain, in consequence of a sentence 
to that effect from king Herod Agrippa. The high priest Ananus 
did indeed condemn James, the brother of Jesus, (i. e. relation or 
cousin,) to be stoned, and others likewise, but it was done, when 
the procurator was absent, and was disapproved by the Jews them- 
selves. Consult the large German edition of this Work, P. II. Vol. 
II. § 132. p. 121, 122. 

[Note. On the Sanhedrin of Seventy, instituted by Mo- 
ses in the Wilderness. A remark was made at the close of the 
243d section as follows : " This tribunal, (viz. the Jewish Sanhe- 
drin,) is not to be confounded with the seventy two counsellors, who 
were appointed to assist Moses, etc." The following extract from 
Michaelis, whose opinions on such a subject every scholar will feel 
an interest in knowing, will give probably a correct idea of the insti- 
tution, to which an allusion is made in that section. 

" Moses established in the wilderness another institution which 
has been commonly held to be of a judicial nature ; and under the 


name of Sanhedrin or Synedrium, much spoken of both by Jews 
and Christians, although it probably was not of long continuance. 
We have the account of its establishment in Num. xi. ; and if we 
read the passage impartially, and without prejudice, we shall pro- 
bably entertain an opinion of the Synedrium different from that 
generally received, which exalts it into a supreme college of justice 
that was to endure for ever. 

" A rebellion that arose among the Israelites distressed Moses 
exceedingly. In order to alleviate the weight of the burden that 
oppressed him, he chose from the twelve tribes collectively, a coun- 
cil of seventy persons to assist him. These, however, could hardly 
have been judges ; for of them, the people already had between six- 
ty and seventy thousand.* Besides, of what use could seventy new 
judges, or a supreme court of appeal, have been in crushing a re- 
bellion. It seems much more likely, that this selection was in- 
tended for a supreme senate to take a share with Moses in the gov- 
ernment ; and as it consisted of persons of respectability, either in 
point of family or merits, it would serve materially to support his 
power and influence among the people in general. By a mixture 
of aristocracy, it would moderate the monarchical appearance which 
the constitution must have assumed from Moses giving his laws by 
command of God, and it would unite a number of powerful families 
together, from their being all associated with Moses in the govern- 

" It is commonly supposed that this Synedrium continued per- 
manent ; but this I doubt. For in the whole period from the 
death of Moses to the Babylonish captivity, we find not the least 
mention of it in the Bible ; and this silence, methinks, is decisive ; 
for in the time of the judges, but particularly on those occasions 
when, according to the expression of the book of Judges, there was 
neither king nor judge in Israel; and again, during those great po- 
litical revolutions, when David by degrees became king over all 
the tribes, and when the ten tribes afterwards revolted from his 

* Without including the tribe of Levi, there were, 
Judges of tens, 60,355 
of hundreds, 6,035 
of thousands, 603 

in all, 66,993 


grandson, Rehoboam ; and lastly, under the tyrannical reigns of 
some of the subsequent kings ; such a supreme council of seventy 
persons, if it had been in existence, must have made a conspicu- 
ous figure in the history ; and yet we find not the least trace of it ; 
so that it merely appears to have been a temporary council insti- 
tuted by Moses for his personal service and security ; and as he 
did not fill up the vacancies occasioned in it by deaths, it must 
have died out altogether in the wilderness. 

" No doubt the Jews, after their return from the Babylonish 
captivity, did institute a Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, of which fre- 
quent mention is made not only in the New Testament, but also 
in Jewish writings. But this was merely an imitation of the an- 
cient Mosaic Synedrium, with the nature of whose constitution the 
later Jews were no longer acquainted ; for they had indeed become 
. ignorant of almost all the customs of their ancestors."} 

§ 245. Other Tribunals in the time of Christ. 

Josephus, (Antiq. IV. 8. 14.) states, that in every city there 
was a tribunal of seven Judges, with two Levites as apparitors, 
and that it was a Mosaic institution. That there existed such an in- 
stitution in his time, there is no reason to doubt, but he probably err- 
ed in referring its origin to so early a period, as the days of Moses. 
This tribunal, which decided causes of less moment, is denominat- 
ed, in the New Testament, xyloig or the judgment, Matt. 5: 22. 

The Talmudists mention a tribunal of twenty three judges, 
and another of three judges, but Josephus is silent in respect to 
them. The courts of twenty three judges were the same with 
the synagogue tribunals, mentioned in John 16: 2 ; which merely 
tried questions of a religious nature, and sentenced to no other 
punishment than " forty stripes save one," 2 Cor. 11: 24. 

The court of three judges was merely a session of referees, 
which was allowed to the Jews by the Roman laws ; for the Tal- 
mudists themselves, in describing this court, go on to observe, that 
one judge was chosen by the accuser, another by the accused, and 
a third by the two parties conjunctly ; which shows at once the 
nature of the tribunal. 



§246. The Time of Trials. 

The time, at which courts were held, and causes were brought 
before them for trial, was in the morning, *1D3, Jer. 21: 12. Ps. 
101: S. According to the Talmudists, (Sanhedrin IV.) it was not 
lawful to try causes of a capital nature in the night, and it was 
equally unlawful to examine a cause, pass sentence, and put it in 
execution on the same day. The last particular was very strenu- 
ously insisted on. It is worthy of remark, that all of these prac- 
tices, which were observed in other trials, were neglected in the 
tumultuous trial of Jesus, Matt. 26: 57. John 18: 13 — 18. For 
what the modern Jews assert, viz. that forty days were allowed to 
Jesus, to make his defence in, is not mentioned by the more ancient 

The trial of causes on the days of the national festivals is for- 
bidden in many passages in the Talmud. Whatever might have 
been the ground of this prohibition, it at any rate contravened 
the spirit of the remark in Deut. 17: 13. viz. " And all the people 
shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously." That is, 
shall hear and tremble at the sentence passed upon the guilty ; 
for which they could not in general find so good an opportunity, 
as on the days of those festivals. Nor was there any reason to 
fear, that the religious festivals of the nation, would be profaned 
in this way, in as much as judicial tribunals, in a theocracy, were 
of divine institution. It may be observed further on this point, 
that the reason assigned, why the Jews in Matt. 26: 5. avoided the 
festival day, was the fear of an uproar among the people. But 
it appears, as soon as a person was found treacherous enough 
to betray the Saviour, that even the fears from this source vanish- 

§ 247. Of the Forum or place of Trials. 

The places for judicial trials were in very ancient times the 
gates of cities, which were well adapted to this purpose. They 
were adapted to this purpose, in as much as they were public, 
and were used not only for entering and departing, but for fairs, 
places of business, and to accommodate those, who were assembled 

§ 248. FORM OF TRIAL. 


merely to pass away the time, Gen. 23: 10, et seq. Deut. 21: 19. 
25: G, 7. Ruth 4: 1, et seq. Ps. 127: 5. Prov. 22: 22. 24: 7. The 
place of trial was the same after the captivity as before, Zech. 8: 16. 
The Greek forum dyoga, was also a place for fairs. 

The Areopagus itself, ageiog ndyog, i. e. the hill of Mars, was 
so called, because justice was said to have been pronounced there 
formerly against Mars, Acts 17: 19. 

The Greeks assembled in the forum likewise, where the judi- 
cial tribunals had the place of their sitting, in order to examine in- 
to the conduct and qualifications of public magistrates, and candi- 
dates for office. Inquiries and examinations of this kind were ex- 
pressed by the Greek word doxiftdCtiv, comp. 1 Cor. 11: 28. The 
assembly of the citizens, convened on extraordinary occasions, was 
called in Greek ixxfojola or avyxXtjiog. The convention of the 
citizens, which met on certain stated days, rifiigav %vQiai, which 
were designated by the law, and which recurred four times with- 
in every period of thirty-five days called y.vgla. 

§ 248. Form of Trial. 

Originally trials were every where very summary, excepting 
in Egypt; where the accuser committed the charge to writing, 
the accused replied in writing, the accuser repeated the charge, 
and the accused answered again, etc. Diodorus Sic. I. p. 75. comp. 
Job 14: 17. 

It was customary in Egypt for the judge to have the code of 
laws placed before him, a practice, which still prevails in the East, 
comp. Dan. 7: 10. 

Moses, however, when called upon to decide upon any litigat- 
ed question, pursued that summary course, which was common 
among the Nomadic tribes ; and in those laws of a permanent 
character, which he established, he did not lay the ground for any 
more formal, or complicated method of procedure in such cases. 
He was, nevertheless, anxious that justice should be administered 
in a right manner, and, accordingly, frequently inculcated the idea, 
that God was a witness to judicial transactions. He interdicted, 
in the most express and decided manner, gifts or bribes, Iftuj , which 
were intended to corrupt the judges, Exod. 22: 20, 21. 23: 1 — 9. 
Lev. 19: 15. Deut. 24: 14, 15. Moses also, by legal precautions, 




§ 248. FORM Or TRIAL. 

prevented capital punishments, and corporal punishments, which 
were not capital, from being extended, as was done in other na- 
tions, both to parents and their children, and thus involving the 
innocent and the guilty in that misery, which was justly due only 
to the latter, Exod. 23: 7. Deut. 24: 16. comp. Dan. 6: 24. This 
salutary arrangement seems to have been neglected by the kings, 
2 K. 9: 26 ; although in all other cases, where it was deemed 
expedient to inflict punishment, the form of trial was gone through, 
even in respect to those innocent persons, who had become the 
subjects of the royal displeasure, and were tried only to be con- 
demned, 1 K. 21: 7 — 16. The disregard of justice, which, in 
such instances, was manifested by the kings, exerted a bad influence 
on the minds of the judges, and, as we may learn from the repeated 
complaints of the prophets, they were too often guilty of partiality in 
their decisions. 

The ceremonies, which were observed, in conducting a judicial 
trial, were as follows. 

I. The accuser and the accused both made their appearance 
before the judge or judges, Deut. 25: 1 ; who sat with legs crossed 
upon the floor, which was furnished for their accommodation with a 
carpet and cushions. A secretary was present, at least in more 
modern times, who wrote down the sentence, and indeed every 
thing in relation to the trial, for instance, the articles of agreement, 
that might be entered into, previous to the commencement of the 
judicial proceedings, Is. 10: 1, 2. Jer. 32: 1 — 14. The Jews as- 
sert, that there were two secretaries, the one being seated to the 
right of the judge, who wrote the sentence of not guilty, the other 
to the left, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. Compare 
Matt. 25: 33 — 46. That an apparitor or beadle was present, is ap- 
parent from other sources. 

II. The accuser was denominated in Hebrew JDip, satan or 
the adversary, Zech. 3: 1 — 3. Ps. 109: 6. The judge or judges 
were seated, but both of the parties implicated stood up, the ac- 
cuser standing to the right hand of the accused. The latter, at 
least after the captivity, when the cause was one of great conse- 
quence, appeared with hair dishevelled, and in a garment of mourn- 

III. The witnesses were sworn, and in capital cases, the par- 
ties concerned, 1 Sam. 14: 37—40. Matt. 26: 63. In order to es- 



tablish the charges alleged, two witnesses were necessary, and, in- 
cluding the accuser, three. The witnesses were examined sepa- 
rately, but the person accused had the liberty to be present, when 
their testimony was given in, Num. 35: 30. Deut. 17: 1 — 15, Matt. 
26: 59. 

Proofs might be brought from other sources, for instance, from 
written contracts, or from papers in evidence of any thing purchas- 
ed or sold, of which there were commonly taken two copies, the one 
to be sealed, the other to be left open, as was customary in the time 
of Jerome, Jer. 32: 10—13. 

IV. The parties sometimes, as may be inferred from Prov. 
18: 18. made use of the lot in determining the points of difficulty 
between them, but not without a mutual agreement. The sacred 
lot of Urim and Thummim was anciently resorted to, in order to 
detect the guilty, Josh. 7: 14 — 24. 1 Sam. xiv. but the determina- 
tion of a case of right or wrong in this way was not commanded by 

V. The sentence, very soon after the completion of the ex- 
amination, was pronounced, and the criminal, without any delay, 
even if the offence were a capital one, was hastened away to the 
place of punishment, Josh. 7: 22, et seq. 1 Sam. 22: 18. 1 K. 2: 

§ 249. Prisons and Tortures. 

As the execution followed so soon after the sentence, there 
was no special need of prisons. Indeed they are not to be found 
in Persia at the present day, and it is customary to confine the 
criminal in an apartment of the house of the judge. Compare Gen. 
40: 3, 4. 

The instrument of punishment, mentioned in Job 13: 27. 33: 
11. in Hebrew "id the stocks, was probably of Egyptian origin. 
Among the Hebrews anciently, criminals were put under a guard 
of persons, employed for that purpose, Lev. 24: 12. Not unfre- 
quently they were confined in empty cisterns. 

The great variety in the names of prisons would lead one to 
suppose, that they were more frequently erected, and more often 
used, in the latter, than in the early periods of the Jewish nation. 
They are as follows. 



(1.) "lfifca, which usually signifies a cistern, Gen. 40: 15. 

(2.) ^rrbn ITS, Gen. 39: 20. (The word -inb appears to be 
of Coptic origin. 

(3.) f-non rP3, (for trnHNWJ n^a) Eccles. 4: 14. 

(4.) *isi08fi rPz, Jer. 37: 15. 

(5.) M|V|r5 rPS^ 1 K. 22: 27. 2 K. 25: 29. 

(6.) ft£a», irtj» , Jer. 37: 4. 52: 31. 

(7.) nssrrarr rP2 , 2 Chron. 16: 10. 

(8.) ^SO» ~ Is. 42: 7. 24: 22. Ps. 142: 7. 

If the great variety in the names of prisons is a proof, that in 
the progress of time they were more and more multiplied : it is 
likewise an indirect evidence, that they were employed not only for 
the detention of criminals, but as a means of punishment and cor- 
rection, Jer. 37: 15 — 20. 

Persons, who were committed to prison, were subjected to the 
further evil of being confined with chains, which occur under the 
Hebrew words tPj>T , ^5.3 , and irjn?; likewise under the word 
BTftfQa made of brass, Jer. 40: 4. 52: 11. Ps. 105: 18. 107: 10. 

The Jews, after the captivity, followed the example of other 
nations, and shut up in prison those, who failed in the payment of 
their debts. They had the liberty likewise to put in requisition the 
aid of tortures, paoaviaiu?, and to punish the debtor with stripes, 
Matt. 5: 26. 18: 28—34. 

At a more recent period still, they borrowed from the Greeks 
the custom of applying the torture, fiuaavoi, in order to ex-tort a 
confession from the person accused, Wisd. 2: 19. The different 
kinds of torture are mentioned in the Treatise concerning the Mac- 
cabees, appended to the Works of Josephus. The Romans in some 
instances fastened their criminals, sometimes by one, sometimes by 
both hands to a soldier. Such remained in their own house, Acts 
28: 16. Seneca Epist. 5. et de Tranquill. c. 20. 

It was not un frequently the case, that the keepers of prisons, 
when those, who were committed to their charge, had escaped, were 
subjected to the same punishment, which had been intended for the 
prisoners, Acts 12: 19. 16:27. 


§ 250. Regulations, etc. in respect to Debtors. 

Those, who had property due to them, might, if they chose, se- 
cure it by means of a mortgage, or by a pledge, or by a bonds- 

The following remarks, in relation to this subject, are worthy of 

I. The creditor, when about to receive a pledge for a debt, 
was not allowed to enter the house of the debtor, and take what 
he pleased ; but was to wait before the door, till the debtor should 
deliver up that pledge, which he could most easily do without, 
Deut. 24: 10, 11. comp. Job 22: 6. 24: 3, 7—9. 

II. When a mill or millstone, or an upper-garment was given, 
as a pledge, it was not to be kept over night ; and these appear 
to stand, as examples for all other things, which the debtor could 
not, without great inconvenience, dispense with, Exod. 22: 25, 26. 
Deut. 24. 6, 12. 

III. The debt, which remained till the seventh, or sabbatic 
year, (during which the soil was to be left without cultivation, 
and a person, consequently, was not supposed to be in a condition 
to make payments,) could not be exacted during said period. 
Hence the sabbatic year was denominated iitiTJ-l) or deferring, 
DeutM5:.l — 11. But at other times, in case the debt was not 
paid, the lands or the house of the debtor might be sold. The 
property thus sold appears to have continued in the hands of the 
purchaser only till the year of Jubilee, when it returned again to 
the original possessors, or their heirs, Prov. 31: 16. 

In case the house, or land was not sufficient to cancel the debt, 
or if it so happened, that the debtor had none, the debtor himself, 
together with his wife and children, was sold into slavery, Prov. 
22: 27. Mic. 2. 9. 

If a person had become bondsman for another, he was liable 
to be called upon for payment in the same way with the original 
debtor. We see in this the ground of the admonitions in the Book 
of Proverbs, (6: 1—4. 11: 15. 17: 18. 22:26,) that a person should 
not too readily give his hands to, or " strike hands" with the debtor, 
in the presence of the creditor, i. e. become his surety. 


§ 251 . ON USURY. 

Novae Tabulae. 
This was a phrase applied by the Romans to a general can- 
celling of debts. The assertion of Josephus, (Antiq. III. 12. I.) 
that there was an extinction of debts on every returning Jubi- 
lee among the Hebrews, corresponding to the state of things 
among the Romans at the recurrence of the Novae Tabulae, is ne- 
cessarily applicable only to the age, in which he himself lived. 
It is true, however, (but it was an extraordinary case,) that Ne- 
hemiah, (5: 1 — 12.) in order to relieve the wants and to improve 
the condition of the poor, permitted Novae Tabulae. 

§251. On Usury. 

Moses enacted a law to the effect, (Exod. 22: 25. Lev. 25: 35 
— 31.) that interest should not be taken from a poor person, nei- 
ther for borrowed money , ^pDD , nor for articles of consumption, rPzlH], 
rPZn», for instance grain, which was borrowed with the expecta- 
tion of being returned. A difficulty arose, in determining who was 
to be considered a poor person, in a case of this kind ; and the 
law was accordingly altered in Deut. 23: 20, 21. and extended in 
its operation to all the Hebrews, whether they had more or les9 
property ; so that interest could be lawfully taken only of foreigners. 

The Hebrews were, therefore, exhorted to lend money, etc. 
as a deed of mercy and brotherly kindness, Deut. 15: 7 — 11. 24: 
13. And hence it happens, that we find encomiums every where 
lavished upon those, who were willing to lend, without insisting 
upon interest for the use of the thing lent, Ps. 15: 15. 37: 21, 26. 
112: 5. Prov. 19: 17. Ezek. 18: 8. 

This regulation in regard to taking interest was very well suit- 
ed to the condition of a state, that had been recently founded, and 
which had but very little mercantile dealings, but it would be very 
unwisely introduced into communities, that are much engaged in 



§ 252. The smallest Punishment. 

Excision from the people, of which we shall speak more parti- 
cularly by and by, was the punishment, that was consequent on a 
deliberate transgression of the ceremonial law. If transgressions 
of the ceremonial law, (or indeed, of certain natural laws, sanc- 
tioned by a civil penalty,) were committed, without deliberate pre- 
meditation, through error, precipitancy, or ignorance, the offend- 
er could avoid the punishment of excision, if he chose, by volunta- 
rily offering a sacrifice, Num. 15: 27 — 31. In this way transgres- 
sors were invited to return, to render satisfaction to the person in- 
jured, and to pursue in future a less erroneous course. But it 
ought to be remarked, that, in offering a sacrifice, the offender 
merely avoided the penalty of the civil law; the merely taking 
this step could not of itself reconcile him to God, and do away 
the evil he had committed in the sight of Omniscience, Heb. 9: 
13, 14. 

Expiatory sacrifices of this kind could be offered only for trans- 
gressions of a particular character : viz. those, which are called in 
Hebrew niNtah, nNttft, ntftart sins, and those, which are denom- 
inated rri»'<23N, fi'iSfi* , trespasses. 

It is worthy to be observed, that a sin-offering is expressed in 
Hebrew by the same words, viz. DNiah, which mean the sin it- 
self, and it is the same in the other case, viz. UW; etc. a trespass, 
also a trespass-offering. 

Both the sin and trespass offerings are expressly defined, (Lev. 
iv. v.) but the exact distinction between the transgressions, to 
which they have reference is very obscure. From an examina- 
tion, however, of the statements in the chapters just referred to, 
it would seem, that sins, according to the technical application of 
the term in the ceremonial law, are violations of prohibitory stat- 
utes, i. e. doing something, which the law commands not to do. 
Trespasses, on the other hand, are violations of imperative statutes, 
i. e. neglecting to do those things which are commanded. Consult 
the large German edition of this Work, P. III. § 101. 

The guilty person incurred the expense of the victim. He 
confessed to his confusion and shame the sin or trsspass over the 
head of the animal, and, if he had unjustly taken another's proper- 



ty, and had not previously made a restoration of it, he not only 
restored it, but added in the restoration a fifth part, Lev. 6: 1—5. 
Num. 5: 5, 10. In case the person, to whom restitution was to be 
made, was not living, it was made to his heirs ; if this could not 
be done, it was made to the high priest, as the minister of Je- 

The fact that restitution, which, under the old dispensations, 
was so frequently mentioned, and so strenuously insisted on, is not 
inculcated in the New Testament, is owing to the circumstance, 
that it was considered a duty so generally known, and so freely 
admitted, as to require no further mention, Eph. 4: 23. 

§253. Fines and Indemnifications, "»zj3b. 

In some instances, the amount of a fine, or of an indemnifica- 
tion, that was to be made, was determined by the person, who had 
been injured. In other instances, it was fixed by the estimation of 
the judge, and, in others, was defined by the law. 

For instance, 

(1.) The indemnification, which is termed ^53, and 
t : D3 ll^lfc, the ransom of one's life, i. e. the payment which might 
be made by a person, who had injured another, as a commutation 
for those corporal punishments, to which, in consequence of the law 
of retaliation, (jus talionis,) he had exposed himself, was left to be 
determined by the mere pleasure of the person, who had been in- 
jured, Exod. 21: 30. 

(2.) The amount to be paid, in order to secure a commutation 
of the punishment, that was enacted bylaw, against the owner of 
a bull, which, although the owner had been previously admonished 
of the bull's character for pushing, had killed a free person, was left 
to be determined v by the avenger of blood. This is the only in- 
stance, in which a commutation of the punishment was allowable, 
where death was the penalty of the crime, Exod. 21: 28 — 31. 

(3.) If two men, in contending with each other, injured a wo- 
man with child, so that she came to a premature birth, a fine was 
to be paid, according to the estimation of the husband and the 

(4.) If a servant were slain by a cross ox, when known to be 
such by the owner, the owner was obliged to pay thirty shekels, 
Exod. 21: 32. comp. Deut. 22: 19. 



None of these fines were paid to the state, but all of them to 
the person, who had been injured. 

§254. Punishment of Theft. 

The restitution, that was required to be made, in case of theft, 
was double of the amount taken, Exod. 22: 3, 6, 8. If a sheep, 
however, were stolen and had already been slain or sold, so that 
it was evident, that the thief had no design to make restitution, a 
fourfold; and, if this were the case in respect to an ox, a fivefold 
restitution was to be made. The reason of this distinction was, 
that sheep, beeing kept in the desert, were more exposed, than 
other animals, to be stolen ; and oxen, being so indispensably ne- 
cessary in an agricultural community, could not be taken from their 
owners in this way, without great injury, and peculiar aggravation, 
Exod. 22: 1. 

In case the thief, nsa , was unable to make the restitution de- 
manded by the law, he was sold with his wife and children into ser- 
vitude, Exod. 22: 2. 2 K. 4: 1. comp. Gen. 43: 19. 44: 17. 

In the days of the kings, the fine for theft seems to have been 
increased, Prov. 6: 30, 31. 

Capital punishment was decreed only against a thief, who had 
taken any thing that was accursed, any thing to which the epithet 
SLHtl was applicable, Josh. 7: 25 ; for what David asserts, in 2 Sam. 
12: 5. in respect to the person, who took away the lamb, viz. that 
he was worthy of death, means merely, that he was guilty, since he 
immediately adds, " He shall restore fourfold." It appears from 
this parable, however, to which we allude, that both thieving and 
taking away violently by force, came under the same law, and were 
followed by the same punishment. 

Whoever slew a thief, that was attempting to break open a 
house at night, let it be what hour it might before sunrise, was 
left unpunished ; since he did not know, but the thief might have 
a design upon his life, and he was unable also to notice his appear- 
ance, and thereby bring him to justice at a subsequent period, 
Exod. 22: 1. 




§ 255. Corporal Punishments. 

Corporal punishments may be limited to one kind, viz. the 
infliction of blows with a rod or scourging, Lev. 19: 20. Deut. 22: 
16. 25: 2, 3. The dignity or high standing of the person, who 
had rendered himself liable to this punishment, could not excuse 
him from its being inflicted. Stripes, the rod, etc. occur very fre- 
quently for punishment of any kind, Prov. 10: 13, 17: 26. Jer. 37: 
15—20. Ps. 89: 32. 

Scourging is very frequently practised at the present day in 
the East, as it was anciently ; with this difference, however, that 
the stripes were formerly inflicted on the back, but now on the soles 
of the feet. 

The instrument, commonly used to inflict the punishment, was 
a rod. Scorpions, traSjji? , i. e. thongs set with sharp iron points 
or nails, called by the Romans houribilia, were applied, as a means 
of torturing, only by those, who had no relentings of heart ; especial- 
ly by cruel masters, in the punishment of their slaves, 1 K. 12: 11. 
The application of such an instrument in punishing was not sanc- 
tioned by the laws of Moses. 

The person, who was convicted of a crime, and was sentenced 
to scourging, was extended upon the ground, and the blows, not 
exceeding forty, were applied upon his back, in the presence of the 
the judge, Deut. 25: 2, 3. 

The more recent Jews, from their great fear, lest, from any 
circumstance, the stripes might exceed the number prescribed, fix- 
ed it at thirty nine instead of forty, which were inflicted in their 
synagogues, Matt. 10: 17. They employed for the purpose, ac- 
cording to the Talmud ists, (Maccoth, 3. 10,) a whip, which had 
three lashes, so as to inflict a triple wound with one blow. Thir- 
teen blows, therefore, made out of the thirty nine stripes, 2 Cor. 
11:24. That extreme and cruel scourging, known among the 
Romans, in which there was no limitation of the number of the 
blows, is not to be confounded with that of which we are speak- 
ing. According to the Porcian Law, such a scourging could not 
be inflicted on a person, who was a Roman citizen. Consult Cicero 
pro Rabirio, ad Famil. X. 32. in Verrem, V. 53. and Acts 16: 22, 
25—30, 37. 



Note. Extinction of the sight, nfj^» was not practised among 
the Hebrews, as a pvnishmcnt. Nor was it in truth thus practised 
among other nations, except in cases, where the persons, whose 
eyes were put out, would otherwise have been in a condition to 
have engaged in plots against the existing government. It was 
from the fear of this, that the eyes of rebellious kings were put 
out, Jer. 52: 11. 2 K. 25: 7. In Persia so late as the seventeenth 
century, a silver style of that kind, which was used in painting the 
eyebrows, was heated red-hot, and thrust into the eye of the son of 
a king, for the purpose of destroying the sight, or at least destroy- 
ing it so far, as to take away the power of distinctly discerning ob- 

§ 256. On Retaliation. 

If a man, in a personal conflict with another, smote him to such 
a degree, as to cause confinement to his bed, he was bound to 
make him indemnification, Exod. 21: 18, 19. When, in such a con- 
test, injury was intentionally done to a particular member of the 
body, or life was taken away ; life was rendered for life, eye for 
eye, tooth for tooth, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe 
for stripe, hand for hand, foot for foot, Exod. 21: 23 — 25. Lev. 24: 
19 — 22. A false witness, likewise, according to the law of retalia- 
tion (jus talionis,) was to be punished with the same punishment, 
which was decreed against the crime, in reference to which he had 
falsely testified, Deut. 19: 16—21. 

In the time of Christ, the jus talionis, (Matt. 5: 38 — 40,) was 
confounded with moral principles, i. e. [it was taught that the 
law of Moses, which was merely civil or penal, rendered it per- 
fectly justifiable, in a moral point of view, for a person to inflict 
on another the same injury, whatever it might be, which he him- 
self had received.] The persons, who expounded the law to 
this effect, do not appear to have recollected [its true character, as 
a civil or penal law, which originated from the circumstances of 
the times,] and seem not to have remembered, that the literal re- 
taliation could not take place, until after the decision of a judge 
on a suit, brought by the person injured, and then was never to 
exceed the original injury. Furthermore, it was by no means 
necessary, that this retaliation should take place at all, since the 



aggrieved party might, either before or after the decision of the 
judge, make an arrangement with the aggressor, and relieve him 
from the infliction of the punishment, to which he had legally ex- 
posed himself, on his rendering that satisfaction, which in the He- 
brew is technically called nsb , and ■p"HD a ransom. 

The law of retaliation was common among all ancient nations, 
and was in truth the most efficacious means of protecting a person 
from injuries. But, in progress of time, when feelings and man- 
ners had assumed a milder tone, causes, which originated from 
one person's receiving bodily injuries from another, were brought 
into the common civil courts on the footing of other causes, and 
the punishment to be inflicted on the aggressor, or the satisfaction 
in any other way to be rendered to the injured party, was left en- 
tirely to the person, who sat as judge. 

The arguments, which have been employed against the expe- 
diency and propriety of the jus talionis, are of no great weight. 
For instance, it has been said, that this system of retaliation in- 
creased the number of injured and mutilated persons in the com- 
munity ; when on the contrary it probably diminished it, as a per- 
son would naturally be cautious, how he inflicted wounds on the 
body of another, when he was fully aware of what might be the 
consequences to himself. Another objection is, that it would be 
very difficult, or altogether impossible, to requite upon the orig- 
inal aggressor just as much and no more, than had been suffered 
by the injured person. But the answer is, if, from any circum- 
stance, he should suffer more, all he has to do, is to attribute it to 
himself \ and to consider it, as what he might very naturally have ex- 

§ 257. Mosaic Punishments. 

Criminals, who had committed homicide, were punished, (as 
we may learn, as far back as Gen. 9: 6.) with death. But the mode, 
in which this punishment was inflicted, is not there stated. 

Decapitation and the Sword. 

Decapitation or beheading was a method of taking away life, 
that was known and practised among the Egyptians, Gen. 40: 17 — 
19. This mode of punishment, therefore, must have been known 



to the Hebrews. And it may further be remarked, that if, in 
truth, there occur no indubitable instances of it in the time of the 
early Hebrew kings, it is clear, that something, which bears much 
relationship to it, may be found in such passages, as the following, 
viz. 2 Sam. 4: 8. 20:21,22. 2 K. 10: 6— 8. It appears, in the 
later periods of the Jewish history, that Herod and his descen- 
dants, in a number of instances, ordered decapitation, Matt. 14: 8 — 
12. Acts 12: 2. It becomes us to observe, however, lest these 
remarks should carry an erroneous impression, that beheading was 
not sanctioned by the laws of Moses. The Mosaic punishment 
the most correspondent to it, was that of the sword ; with which 
the criminal was slain in any way, which appeared most conveni- 
ent or agreeable to the executioner. That this statement in re- 
spect to the liberty, exercised by the executioner, is correct, may 
indeed be inferred from the phrase, " Rush upon aim" and " He 
rushed upon him" ia 23© , i T2£,|B?*j, Judg. 8: 21. 1 Sam. 22: 18. 
2 Sam. 1: 15. 1 K. 2: 25,29, 31~ 34. The probability * is, howev- 
er, that the executioner, generally, thrust the sword into the bowels 
of the criminal. 

Lapidation or Stoning. 

In addition to the use of the sword, stoning was another mode 
of effecting the punishment of death, authorized by the laws of 
Moses. Stoning was practised likewise among many other ancient 

Moses, (following, probably, some ancient custom,) enacted, 
that the witnesses should throw the first stone against the criminal, 
and, after the witnesses, the people, Deut. 13: 10. 17: 7. Josh. 
7: 25. John 8: 7. 

The assertion of the Talmudists, (Sanhedrin, 6: 1 — 4,) that 
the criminal was first thrown off frOm an elevated scaffolding, and 
then stoned, is mere fable. The punishment of stoning is to be 
understood, wherever the mode of putting to death is not express- 
ly mentioned. This mode of punishment is meant, consequently, 
in Lev. 20: 10. where the discourse is concerning adulterers. Ac- 
cordingly, this is the construction put upon that passage in Ezek. 
16: 38, 40. and in John 8: 5. Compare likewise Exod. 31: 14. and 
35: 2. with Numb. 15: 35, 36. The opinion, therefore, of the Tal- 
mudists, who maintain, that strangidation is the punishment, meant 
in the passage referred to in Leviticus, is not to be admitted. 


§ 258. excision ; excommunications. 

§ 258. Excision from the people ; Excommunications. 

When God is introduced, as saying in respect to any person, 
as follows, " I will cut him off, "'n'lDn, from the people," the ex- 
pression means some event in divine Providence, which shall even- 
tually terminate the life of that person's family. Consult 1 K. 14: 
10. 21: 21. 2 K. 9: 8. 

If the following expressions are used, " He shall be cut off rns::, 
rns'' ,from the people," the punishment of stoning is meant, Lev. 
17: 4. 20: 10—18, comp. Exod. 31: 14. 35: 2. Heb. 10: 28. 

The more recent Jewish interpreters have understood, by ex- 
cision from the people, excommunication ; and have, accordingly, 
made three species of it. 

I. Excommunication, in the slightest degree, yetfi , was separa- 
tion from the synagogue, and the suspension of intercourse with all 
Jews whatever, even with one's wife and domestics. A person, 
who had exposed himself to excommunication of this sort, was 
not allowed to approach another, nearer than a distance of four cu- 
bits. This separation was continued for thirty days ; and in case 
the excommunicated person did not repent, the time might be 
doubled or tripled, even when the transgression, by means of 
which it was incurred, was of small consequence, Buxtorfii Lex. 
Chald. Talm. Rabb. col. 1304, et seq. 

II. The second degree of excommunication is denominated 
ffltt, the curse, and was more severe in its effects, than that just 
mentioned. It was pronounced with imprecations, in the pre- 
sence of ten men, and so thoroughly excluded the guilty person 
from all communion whatever with his countrymen, that they were 
not allowed to sell him any thing, even the necessaries of life, Bux- 
torfii Lex. Chald. Talm. Rabbin, col. 827. comp. John 16: 1, 2. 
1 Cor. 5: 2—9. 

III. The third degree of excommunication, which was more 
severe in its consequences, than either of the preceding, was de- 
nominated fcfctijgui It was a solemn and absolute exclusion from 
all intercourse and communion with any other individuals of the 
nation ; and the criminal was left in the hands, and to the justice 
of God, Buxtorfii Lex. Chald. Talm. Rabbin, col. 2463—2470. 

Whether the word, STwti , be the same with KDN fittJ , the 



Name, (i. e. God,) comes, and with fitnat ]na our Lord comes, is a 
question, on which there is a difference of opinion. It is most 
probable, that, in the time of Christ, the second degree of excom- 
munication was not distinguished from the third, and that both 
were expressed by the phraseology, which is used in 1 Cor. 5: 5. 
and 1 Tim. 1: 20. viz. to deliver to Satan for the destruction of the 

§ 259. Of Punishments, which consist of Posthumous insults. 

It enters into the design of the Mosaic Laws to inflict punish- 
ments, but not punishments of such a nature, as shall have a ten- 
dency to communicate a perpetual infamy to the person, who suf- 
fers them. This remark applies to the living. It was sometimes 
the case, that a lasting infamy, by means of posthumous insults, was 
heaped upon the dead. 

The posthumous insults, to which we refer, were, as fol- 

I. The body of the criminal, who had been stoned, was burnt. 
Burning, as a mark of infamy, appears to have been an ancient 
custom, which was, consequently, not originated, although it was 
retained by Moses, Gen. 38: 24. Lev. 20: 14. 21: 9. Josh. 7: 15, 
25. The Jewish Rabbins suppose, that the burning, which is 
mentioned in the Scriptures, is the operation of pouring melted 
lead down the throat of the living criminal. Certainly such a sup- 
position is a dream. 

II. Another mark of infamy was the suspension of the dead 
body on a tree or gallows. This was customary in Egypt, Gen. 
40: 17—19. Num. 25: 4, 5. Deut. 21: 22, 23. The person sus- 
pended was considered, as a curse, an abomination in the sight of 
God, and as receiving this token of infamy from his hand. The 
body, nevertheless, was to be taken down, and buried on the same 
day. The hanging, mentioned in 2 Sam. 21: 6. was the work of 
the Gibeonites, and not of the Israelites. Posthumous suspension 
of this kind for the purpose of conferring ignominy is a very differ- 
ent thing from the crucifixion, that was practised by the Romans, 
notwithstanding that the Jews gave such an extent to the law in 
Deut. 21: 22, 23. as to include the last named punishment, John 
19: 31. et seq. Galat. 3: 13. 


III. Heaps of stones were raised either directly upon the dead 
body, or upon the place, where it was buried, Josh. 7: 25, 26. 
2 Sam. 18: 17. The pile of stones, that was gathered in this way, 
was increased by the contributions of each passing traveller, who 
added one to the heap in testimony of his aversion to the crime. 

Examine in connexion with this the two hundred and ninth 

■" ' lib' 1 , V f 

<$> 260. Punishments introduced from other Nations. 

There are other punishments, mentioned in the Bible, in ad- 
dition to those, of which we have given some account; but which 
were introduced among the Hebrews at a period later, than the 
days of Moses. 

v I. Decapitation. [Something has been said in respect to this 
mode of punishment, in the two hundred and fifty seventh section.] 
It was properly a foreign punishment, and was frequently practised 
among the Persians, Greeks, Romans, and other nations. 

II. Strangulation ; to which an allusion is made in 1 Kgs. 20: 
31. The more recent Jews attributed the origin of this punishment 
to Moses, but without cause. They suppose strangulation is meant, 
when the phrase, " He shall die the death" is used. As that 
phrase, in their estimation, is meant to express the easiest death, 
by which a person can die, they suppose, the mode of death intend- 
ed is no other, than that of strangulation. A person will be sur- 
prised at their notions of an easy death, when he understands the 
method, in which it was effected, to have been as follows. The 
criminal, (as the punishment, according to their account, was in- 
flicted,) was thrust up to his middle in mud. A handkerchief was 
then tied round his neck, which was drawn by the two ends in op- 
posite directions by two lictors ; and while the process of strangu- 
lation was going on in this way, melted lead was poured down his 
throat, Sanhedr. 10: 3. 

III. Burning. Persons were burnt alive in a furnace, which, 
as has been observed, resembled in its form a well, Dan. in. comp. 
Chardin's Voyage, Vol. IV. p. 276. This mode of punishment was 
practised among the Chaldeans, Jer. 29: 22. 

IV. The Lion's Den. This mode of punishment is still cus- 
tomary in Fez and Morocco. See accounts of Fez and Morocco by 
Hoest, c. 2. p. 77. Dan. vi. 


V. Dichotomy or cutting asunder. This method of putting 
criminals to death prevailed among the Chaldeans and Persians. 
When this punishment was inflicted, the left hand and right foot, 
or the right hand and left foot, or both feet and hands were cut off 
at the joints, Dan. 2: 5. Luke 12: 46. Matt. 24: 51. A mutilation, 
in this way, of persons, who had been punished with death, is men- 
tioned in 2 Sam. 4: 12. 

VI. Beating to death, xv}mccviO[.iog. This was a punishment 
in use among the Greeks, and was designed for slaves. The cri- 
minal was suspended to a stake, and beaten with rods, till he died, 
2 Mace. 6: 10, 19, 28, 30. Heb. 11: 35. 

VII. Sawing asunder. The criminal was sometimes sawn 
asunder lengthwise. This was more especially the practice in Per- 
sia. Isaiah, according to the Talmudists, was put to death in this 
manner, by king Manasseh, Sanhedrin, p. 103. c. 2. comp. Justin's 
Dialogue with Trypho. David inflicted this mode of punishment up- 
on the conquered inhabitants of Rabbath Ammon. Comp. 1 Chron. 
20: 3. 

VIII. The Romans, for the gratification of the people, com- 
pelled their criminals, and also their enemies taken captive in war, 
to fight with wild beasts in the amphitheatre. They likewise com- 
pelled them to contend with one another in the manner of gladiators, 
till their life was terminated in this way, 2 Tim. 4: 17. comp. 1 Cor. 
15: 32. 

IX. The Persians, in some instances, enclosed a place with 
high walls, and filled it with ashes. A piece of timber was made 
to project over the ashes, and criminals of high rank were placed 
upon it. They were liberally supplied with meat and drink, till, be- 
ing overcome with sleep, they fell over into the deceitful heap, 
and died an easy death. The Macedonians in Syria imitated this 
punishment, 2 Mace. 13: 4. 

X. It was the practice among the Greeks and Romans to pre- 
cipitate some of their criminals, especially the sacrilegious, into 
the sea or a river. The persons, who were thus put to death, were 
placed in a sack, and were thrown in with a stone about their 
neck. Comp. Matt. 18: 6. Mark 9: 42. 

XI. Crucifixion. This was a common mode of punishment 
among the Persians, Carthaginians, and Romans. The mode of 
crucifixion, adopted by the Maccabean princes, was that of the 




Romans. The Romans, although it was done at the urgent and 
riotous solicitations of the Jews, were the executioners in the cru- 
cifixion of Jesus Christ. We shall, therefore, speak more par- 
ticularly of this mode of punishment, as it existed among that 

§ 261. Crucifixion as practised among the Romans. 

The cross was the punishment that was inflicted by the Romans, 
on servants who had perpetrated crimes; on robbers, assassins, and 
rebels ; among which last, Jesus was reckoned, on the ground of 
his making himself king or messiah, Luke 23: 1 — 5, 13 — 15. 

The words, in which the sentence was given, were as follows ; 
" Thou shalt go to the cross." The person, who was subjected to 
this punishment, was deprived of all his clothes, excepting some- 
thing around the loins. In this state of nudity, he was beaten, 
sometimes with rods, but more generally with whips. Such was 
the severity of this flagellation, that numbers died under it. Je- 
sus was crowned with thorns and made the subjeoi, of mockery, 
but nothing of this kind could be legally done, or in other words, 
insults of this kind were not among the ordinary attendants of cru- 
cifixion. They were owing, in this case, merely to the petulant 
spirit of the Roman soldiers, Matt. 27: 29. Mark 15: 17. John 19: 
2, 5. 

The criminal, having been beaten, was subjected to the further 
suffering of being obliged to carry the cross himself to the place of 
punishment, which was commonly a hill, near the public way, and 
out of the city. The place of crucifixion at Jerusalem was a hill to 
the north west of the city. 

The cross, oxavQOQ, a post, otherwise called the unpropitious or 
infamous tree, consisted of a piece of wood erected perpendicular- 
ly, and intersected by another at right angles near the top, so as to 
resemble the letter T. The crime, for which the person suffered, 
was inscribed on the transverse piece near the top of the perpendic- 
ular one. 

There is no mention made in ancient writers of any thing, on 
which the feet of the person crucified rested. Near the middle, 
however, of the perpendicular beam, there projected a piece of 
wood, on which he sat y and which answered as a support to the 


body, since the weight of the body might, otherwise, have torn 
away the hands from the nails driven through them. Here we 
see the ground of certain phrases, which occur, such as the fol- 
lowing ; " To ride upon the cross," " to be borne upon the cross" 
" to rest upon the sharp cross" etc. Compare Irenaeus against Her- 
esies II. 42. Justin's Dialogue with Trypho, and Tertullian against 
the Gentiles, Bk. II. also against Marcion, Bk. III. c. 18. 

The cross, which was erected at the place of punishment, be- 
ing there firmly fixed in the ground, rarely exceeded ten feet in 
height. The victim, perfectly naked, was elevated to the small 
projection in the middle, the hands were then bound by a rope 
round the transverse beam, and nailed through the palm. We 
see in this statement the ground of such expressions, as the fol- 
lowing; " To mount upon the cross" to leap upon the cross" 
" to bring one upon the cross " etc. Comp. Cicero against Verres, 
V. 66. and Josephus, Jewish War, VII. 6. 4. 

The position which is taken by some, viz. that the persons, who 
suffered crucifixion, were not in some instances fastened to the cross 
by nails through the hands and feet, but were merely bound to it 
by ropes, cannot be proved by the testimony of any ancient writer 
whatever. That the feet, as well as the hands, were fastened to 
the cross by means of nails, is expressly asserted in the play of 
Plautus, entitled Mostellaria, Act. II. sc. I. 12. comp. Tertullian 
against the Jews, c. 1. and against Marcion, Bk. III. c. 19. In re- 
gard to the nailing of the feet, it may be furthermore observed, that 
Gregory Nazianzen has asserted, that one nail only was driven 
through both of them, but Cyprian, (de passione,) who had been 
a personal witness to crucifixions, and is, consequently, in this case, 
the better authority, states on the contrary, that two nails or spikes 
were driven, one through each foot. 

The crucified person remained suspended in this way, till he 
died and the corpse had become putrid. While he exhibited any 
signs of life, he was watched by a guard, but they left him, when 
it appeared that he was dead. The corpse was not buried, ex- 
cept by express permission, which was sometimes granted by the 
emperor on his birth-day, but only to a very few. An exception, 
however, to this general practice was made by the Romans in 
favour of the Jews, on account of Deut. 21: 22, 23 ; and in Judea, 
accordingly, crucified persons were buried on the same day. 



When, therefore, there was not a prospect, that they would die 
on the day of the crucifixion, the executioners hastened the ex- 
tinction of life, by kindling a fire under the cross, so as to suffo- 
cate them with the smoke, or by letting loose wild beasts upon 
them, or by breaking their bones upon the cross with a mallet, as 
upon an anvil, or by piercing them with a spear, in order that they 
might bury them on the same day. 

Note. The Jews, in the times of which we are speaking, viz. 
while they were under the jurisdiction of the Romans, were in the 
habit of giving the criminal, before the commencement of his suffer- 
ings, a medicated drink of wine and myrrh, Prov. 31: 16. The object 
of this was to produce intoxication, and thereby render the pains 
of the crucifixion less sensible to the sufFerer, Sanhedrin I. p. 250. 
This beverage was refused by the Saviour for the obvious reason, 
that he chose to die, with the faculties of his mind undisturbed and 
unclouded, Matt. 27: 34. Mark 15: 23. It should be remarked, 
that this sort of drink, which was probably offered out of kindness, 
was different from the vinegar, which was subsequently offered to 
the Saviour, by the Roman soldiers. [The latter was a mixture of 
vinegar and water, denominated posca, and was a common drink for 
the soldiers in the Roman army,] Luke 23: 36. John 19: 29. 

§ 262. The cruelties of Crucifixion. 

Crucifixion was not only the most ignominious, it was like- 
wise the most cruel mode of punishment. So very much so, that 
Cicero, (in Verrem, V. 64, et 66.) is justified in saying in respect 
to crucifixion, " Ab oculis, aiiribusque, et omni cogitationc hominum 
removendum esse." The sufferings endured by a person, on whom 
this punishment is inflicted, are narrated by George Gottlieb 
Richter, a German physician, in a Dissertation on the Saviour's 
Crucifixion, at page 36, et seq. 

I. The position of the body is unnatural, the arms being extend- 
ed back and almost immoveable. In case of the least motion an ex- 
tremely painful sensation, is experienced in the hands and feet, 
which are pierced with nails, and in the back, which is lacerated 
with stripes. 

II. The nails, being driven through the parts of the hands and 
feet, which abound in nerves and tendons, create the most exquisite 


III. The exposure of so many wounds to the open air brings 
on an inflammation, which every moment increases the poignancy 
of the suffering. 

IV. In those parts of the body, which are distended or press- 
ed, more blood flows through the arteries, than can be carried 
back in the veins. The consequence is, that a greater quantity of 
blood finds its way from the aorta into the head and stomach, than 
would be carried there by a natural and undisturbed circulation. 
The blood vessels of the head become pressed and swollen, which 
of course causes pain, and a redness of the face. The circum- 
stance of the blood being impelled in more than ordinary quanti- 
ties into the stomach is an unfavourable one also, because it is that 
part of the system, which not only admits of the blood being sta- 
tionary, but is peculiarly exposed to mortification. The aorta, 
not being at liberty to empty, in the free and undisturbed way as 
formerly, the blood which it receives from the left ventricle of the 
heart is unable to receive its usual quantity. The blood of the 
lungs, therefore, is unable to find a free circulation. This general 
obstruction extends its effects likewise to the right ventricle, and 
the consequence is an internal excitement, and exertion, and anx- 
iety, which are more intolerable, than the anguish of death itself. 
All the large vessels about the heart, and all the veins and arte- 
ries in that part of the system, on account of the accumulation and 
pressure of blood, are the source of inexpressible misery. 

V. The degree of anguish is gradual in its increase, and the 
person crucified is able to live under it, commonly till the third, 
and sometimes till the seventh day. Pilate, therefore, being sur- 
prised at the speedy termination of the Saviour's life, inquired in 
respect to the truth of it of the centurion himself, who command- 
ed the soldiers, Mark 15: 44. In order to bring their life to a more 
speedy termination, so that they might be buried on the same day, 
the bones of the two thieves were broken with mallets, John 19: 
31 — 37; and in order to ascertain this point in respect to Jesus, 
viz, whether he was really dead, or whether he had merely fallen 
into a swoon, a soldier thrust his lance into his side, (undoubtedly 
his left side,) but no signs of life appeared, John 19: 13 — 37. If 
he had not been previously dead, a wound of this kind in his side 
would have put a period to his life, as has been shown both by 
the physician Eschenbach and by Gruner, the former in his Opus- 



cul. Medic, de Servatorc non apparenter, sed vere rnortuo, and the 
latter in his Dissert. Inaug. Medic, de Jesu Christi morte vera, non 
synopticd, 1800. The part pierced was the pericardium ; hence 
lymph and blood flowed out. 

§ 263. The Public Executioners. 

When the sentence of death was pronounced by the king, it 
was executed by his body-guard. Compare § 236. Sometimes it 
was done by some other person, who considered the employment an 
honour, 2 Sam. 1: 15. 4: 12. 

The kings of Persia formerly, as is the case to this day, were 
unable to recall the sentence of death, when once passed. Dan. 6: 

Criminals were every where bound with their own girdle, and 
hurried away to punishment. Comp. Acts 21: 10 — 14. John 21: 18. 

Homicides were put to death by the blood-avenger, bfiOa, i- e. 
by the nearest male relation of the person slain, of whom we shall 
speak more particularly in the next section. Where stoning was 
the punishment, the process was commenced by the witnesses 
themselves, whose example was followed, and the punishment ren- 
dered complete by the people, Deut. 17: 7. The Roman magistrates 
had their lictors, but the soldiers, in the time of the Cesars, execut- 
ed the sentence of the cross. The dress of the crucified person 
was given to the soldiers, Matt. 27: 35. Mark 15: 24. Luke 23: 34. 
John 19: 23, 24. 

§ 264. Of the Blood-avenger, and cities of Refuge. 

The execution of the punishment, which in Gen. 9: 6. was de- 
creed against homicide, devolved on the brother or other nearest 
relation of the person, whose life had been taken away. In case 
he did not slay the guilty person, he was considered infamous. 
Hence the application of the Hebrew word bNni3, goel, i. e. spotted 
or contaminated, which he bore till the murder was revenged. 

A law of this kind, viz. which authorizes the blood-avenger, 
may indeed be necessary, where there is no legally constituted 
tribunal of justice ; but as soon as there is such an one, it ought to 
cease. To change a law, however, or practice of long standing, 



is a matter of no little difficulty. Moses, therefore, left it, as he 
found it, but he endeavoured, nevertheless, to prevent its abuses. 

To this end, he appointed cities of refuge, tebpnlri "'n 2 , three 
beyond, and three on this side of the Jordan. He took care also, 
that roads leading to them in straight lines should be laid out, in 
every direction, which were to be distinguished in some way from 
other streets. Any one, who had slain a person unexpectedly and 
without intention so to do, any person who had slain another in 
consequence of his unjustly attempting his life, or had slain a thief 
before the rising of the sun, fled by one of these roads to the cities, 
which have been mentioned. He was not to depart from the city 
into which he had fled, till the death of the High Priest ; after 
which the right of revenge could not be legally exercised. 

All persons, who had been the cause of death to another, might 
flee into one of those cities, which were the property of the priests 
and Levites, and which are named in Deut. 19: 1 — 13. 4: 41 — 43. 
Num. 35: 9—29. Josh. 20: 1—9. 21: 11—13, 21. 27: 32, 38 ; but 
they were all examined, and if found, according to the laws, guilty 
of homicide, were delivered up to the avenger of blood. For the 
law of retaliation, (jus talionis,) was most strictly inflicted on 
those, who were known to have been guilty of intentional murder ; 
even the altar itself in such a case afforded no refuge, and no com- 
mutation whatever was admissible, Exod. 21: 12. Num. 35: 9 — 35. 
Deut. 19: 1—13. 1 K. 2: 28—34. 

The opinion, that the place, where human blood has been shed, 
is watered neither with dew nor with rain, till the murderer has 
suffered punishment, appears to have prevailed at a very ancient 
period, 2 Sam. 1: 21. Ezek. 24: 7, 8. 

§ 265. Of the unknown Murderer. 

[The original of this section is but little more than a literal 
statement in the author's words of the law, that is found in Deut. 
21: 1 — 9. As far as the law, therefore, is concerned, it will be as 
satisfactory, perhaps more so, to have it stated in the language of 
the common English version, which is as follows.] 

1. "If one be found slain in the land which the Lord thy God 
giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who 
hath slain him ; 



2. Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they 
shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain. 

3. And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain 
man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer which hath 
not been wrought with, and which hath not been drawn in the 
yoke j 

4. And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer un- 
to a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike 
off the heifer's neck there in the valley. 

5. And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near; (for 
them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to 
bless in the name of the Lord ;) and by their word shall every con- 
troversy and every stroke be tried ; 

6. And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain 
man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the 

7. And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed 
this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 

8. Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou 
hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Is- 
rael's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. 

9. So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from 
among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of 
the Lord."— Deut. 21: 1—9. 

The ceremonies, which have now been related, were not only 
a declaration of the innocence of the judges and elders, and of the 
horrid nature of the murder, but an implicit declaration likewise 
of the punishment, which justly pertained to the person who had 
committed it. 





§ 266. General view of Military Science. 

The dissensions of individuals gave occasion, in the progress 
of time, for the strife of families, for contests between tribes, and 
eventually for the wars of nations. Those, who came off con- 
querors in the wars, which had thus been commenced, enriched 
themselves with plunder. This presented an incitement to those 
tribes and nations, which were conscious of their superiority in 
point of power, to engage in war ; and prepared the way for that 
ferocity and violence, to resist which the patriarchs after the flood 
found it necessary to arm their servants, and to be always in rea- 
diness to repel all attacks by force. The patriarchs, nevertheless, 
made it a point to act on principles of equity ; they made treaties 
where they could, and where they could not, their resort was, 
(clearly a very natural^ one,) to extort respect, by striking a 

Families had no sooner increased, in respect to numbers, into 
tribes, than it was no longer deemed necessary to put in requisi- 
tion the aid of servants, and to arm them for war ; since it had 
become customary for every freeborn member of the community 
to accustom himself to arms, and to take the field against the en- 

Various implements of war are mentioned in the Pentateuch. 
At a subsequent period, the Hebrews, in their contests with the 
neighbouring nations, were sometimes beaten, and sometimes vic- 
torious ; till at length, in the reign of David, they acquired such 
skill in the military art, together with such strength, as to give 
them a decided superiority over their competitors on the field of 
battle. David increased the standing army, which Saul had intro- 
duced. Solomon introduced cavalry into the military force of the 



nation, also chariots. Both cavalry and chariots were retained 
in the subsequent age ; an age, in which military arms were im- 
proved in their construction, the science of fortification made ad- 
vances, and large armies were mustered. From this period, till 
the time, when the Hebrews became subject to the Assyrians 
and Chaldeans, but little improvement was made in the arts of 

The Maccabees, after the return of the Hebrews from the cap- 
tivity, gave new life to the military art among them. But their de- 
scendants were under the necessity of submitting to the superior 
power of the Romans. 

§ 267. General military Enrolment. 

In the second year after the Exodus from Egypt, there was a 
general enrolment of all, ivuo were able to bear arms, fiOSl "iO;'" 1 ; 
viz. of all, who were between the ages of twenty and fifty. There 
was an enrolment of the Levites, (whose duty it was to guard the 
tabernacle, which was understood to be the palace of God, as the 
political head of the community,) separately from the rest of the 
people, Number 1 : 1 — 54. 

There was a second enrolment, made in the fortieth year after 
the Exodus from Egypt, Num.26: 2. The enrolment was made, as 
there can be no doubt, by the genealogists, under the direction of the 
princes. In case of war, those, who were to be called into actual 
service, were taken from those, who were thus enrolled, in as much 
as the whole body were not expected to take the field, except on ex- 
traordinary occasions, Jud. xx. 1 Sam. 11: 7. comp. Exod. xvn. 
Num. xxxi. Josh. 7: 7, 11, 12. 

In respect to the enrolment, which was made in the reign of 
David, and which was displeasing to Joab himself, the design of 
it seems to have been to reduce the whole people to perpetual mili- 
tary servitude. It was accordingly done, not by the genealogists, 
tT^ttTZ), but by military prefects, and it is further 

worthy of remark, that instead of the usual word J-j3£,the word 
was employed in this instance, 2 Sam. xxiv. 

An universal enrolment of the people in this way was indeed 
at this time prevented, but it seems to have taken place under the 
subsequent kings ; otherwise, we are unable to account for the 



large armies, which are mentioned in the Books of Kings, even 
when we lay out of the account, the passages, which labour under 
the suspicion of having been altered by copyists. 

§ 268. Of the Levy for actual Service. 

Whenever there was an immediate prospect of war, a levy of 
this kind was made by the genealogists, Deut. 20: 5—9. In the 
time of the kings, there was a head or ruler of the persons, that 
made the levy, denominated ^tir^n , who kept an account of the 
number of the soldiers, but who is nevertheless, to be distinguish- 
ed from the generalissimo, nEHDti, 2 Chron. 26: 11. comp. 2 Sam. 
8: 17. 20: 25. 1 Chron. 18: 16. " 

After the levy was fully made out, the genealogists gave public 
notice, that the following persons might be excused, from military 
service, Deut. 20: 5 — 8. 

(1.) Those, who had built a house, and had not yet inhabit- 
ed it. 

(2.) Those who had planted a fi*$D', i. e. an olive or vine gar- 
den, and had not as yet tasted the fruit of it ; (an exemption, con- 
sequently, which extended through the first five years after such 

(3.) Those, who had bargained for a spouse, but had not cele- 
brated the nuptials ; also those, who had not as yet lived with their 
wife for a year. 

(4.) The faint-hearted, who would be likely to discourage oth- 
ers, and who, if they had gone into battle, where, in those early 
times, every thing depended on personal prowess, would only have 
fallen victims. 

§ 269. Respecting the divisions, etc. that were introduced 
into Armies. 

The division of the army into three bands, as mentioned in Gen. 
14: 14, 15. Job 1: 17. Judg. 7: 16, 20. 1 Sam. 11: 11. 2 Sam. 18: 
2. was probably no other than the division into the centre, and left, 
and right wing. The commanders of these divisions appear to 
have been called tftfH) , Exod. 14: 7. 15: 4. 2 K. 7: 2, 17, 19. 9: 
25. 15: 25. Ezek. 23: 13, 23. 



The Hebrews, when they departed from Egypt, marched in 
military order, DnitSX b& by their armies or hosts, Exod. 12: 51 ; 
expressions, which, in Exod. 13: 18. are interchanged with the 
word tJ n *«yjph , probably better pointed lf»^50rj. We infer from 
these expressions, that they followed each other in ranks of fifty 
deep, and that, at the head of each rank or file of fifty, was the 
captain of fifty, 1 Sam. 8: 12. 2 K. 1: 9—14. comp. Josh. 1: 14. 
Judges 7: 11. The other divisions consisted of an hundred, a 
thousand, and ten thousand men, each one of which was headed 
by its appropriate commander, Num. 31:48. Deut. 1: 15. Judg. 20: 
10. 1 Sam. 8: 12. 18: 13. 29: 2. 1 Mace. 3: 55. These divisions 
ranked in respect to each other, according to their families, 
and were subject to the authority of the heads of those families, 2 
Chron. 25: 5. 26: 12, 13. The centurions, and chiliarchs or cap- 
tains of thousands, were admitted into the councils of war, 1 Chron. 
13: 1 — 3. 1 Sam. 18: 13 ; and make their appearance, as it would 
seem, in Joshua 10: 24. and Judges 11: 6, 11. under the name of 

The leader of the whole army was denominated fita£?i liS, 
the captain of the host. Another officer among those of principal 
standing was the one called IBifegi [who is said in the original 
German Edition to have had the care of the muster-roll, mu£tettoI 2 
len^mei^ter ] An officer different from both of these was the one 
called trbT-Vitj-ni* "fBfo, the nurnberer of the toicers, who appears 
to have been a sort of engineer, Is. 33: 18. 1 Chron. 18: 15, 16. 
27: 33. 1 K. 4: 4. 2 Chron. 17: 14. 26: 11. 

The army of David consisted of two hundred and eighty thou- 
sand men. Every twenty four thousand of them had a separate 
commander. The divisions of twenty four thousand performed 
military duty alternately, viz. a month at a time in succession, 1 
Chron. 27: 1—15. 

The army in the reign of Jehoshaphat, was divided into five 
unequal divisions, each of which had its separate commander, 2 
Chron. 17: 14—17. 

The genealogists, [in the English version officers^ according 
to a law in Deut. 20: 9. had the right of appointing the persons, 
who were to act as officers in the army, and they undoubtedly, 
made it a point, in their selections, to choose those, who are call- 
ed heads of families. The practice of thus selecting military of- 



ficers ceased under the kings. Some of them were chosen by the 
king, and in other instances the office became permanent and here- 
ditary in the heads of families. 

Both kings and generals had armour bearers, tPb^ Gljfe. They 
were chosen from the bravest of the soldiery, and not only bore 
the arms of their masters, but were employed to give his com- 
mands to the subordinate captains, and were present at his side in 
the hour of peril, 1 Sam. 14: 6. 17: 7. comp. Polybius X. 1. 

The infantry, the cavalry, and the chariots of war were so 
arranged, as to make separate divisions of an army, Exod. 14: 6, 7. 
The infantry were divided likewise into light-armed troops, fc^lJj , 
and into spearmen, Gen. 49: 19. 1 Sam. 30: 8, 15, 23. 2 Sam. 3: 22. 
4: 2. 22: 30. Ps. 18: 30. 2 K. 5: 2. Hos. 7: 1. The light-armed 
infantry were furnished with a sling and javelin, with a bow, ar- 
rows, and quiver, and also, at least in latter times, with a buck- 
ler. They fought the enemy at a distance. The spearmen, on 
the' contrary, who were armed with spears, swords, and shields, 
fought hand to hand, 1 Chron. 12: 24, 34. 2Chron. 14:8. 17:17. 
The light-armed troops were commonly taken from the tribes of 
Ephraim and Benjamin, 2 Chron. 14: 8. 17: 17. comp. Gen. 49: 27. 
Ps. 78: 9. 

The Roman soldiers were divided into legions ; each legion 
was divided into ten cohorts, onelgai, each cohort into three bands, 
and each band into two centuries or hundreds. So that a legion 
consisted of thirty bands of six thousand men, and a cohort of six 
hundred, though the number was not always the same. 

In Palestine, in the days of Josephus, (Jewish War, III. 4. 2.) 
there were a number of cohorts, some of which consisted of a 
thousand foot, and others of only six hundred foot, and an hundred 
and twenty horse. Comp. Matt. 27: 27, 28. Mark 15: 16. and 
Acts 10: 1. 21: 31. 27: 1. In addition to the cavalry, there were 
certain light troops in the Palestine cohorts called dt£iokd(3oi>, 
armed with a javelin and spear, Acts 23: 23. It is necessary to 
distinguish the Roman soldiers, mentioned in the New Testament, 
not only from the soldiers of Herod Agrippa, (Acts 12: 4.) who 
kept guard after the Roman manner by quaternions, i. e. four at a 
time ; but also from the bands of Levites, that watched the tem- 
ple, who had a priest of high standing for their captain, Luke 22: 
4, 52. Acts 4: 1. 5: 24. It is no objection at all, as I conceive, to 


§ 271 . OF SHIELDS. 

this statement, that the word ont7ga, (the Greek for a cohort,) is 
applied to the Levites here mentioned in John, 18: 3, 12. 

§ 270. Military Reviews and Inspections. 

That the ceremonies of a military review or muster, consist- 
ed chiefly in the division of a body of soldiers into different corps 
according to the kinds of arms, with which they were furnished, 
and in a minute inspection of those corps, may be inferred from 
the verb T£2 , which is applied to such review or muster, but 
which, nevertheless, properly means to inspect or to examine nar- 

The arms, in which the soldiers presented themselves for in- 
spection, were either defensive, fc^a, 1 Sam. 17: 38. as the buck- 
ler, helmet, breastplate, and greaves ; or offensive, as the sword 
and spear, with which they fought the enemy hand to hand, and 
the sling, arrows, javelins, catapults, and ballistae, with which they 
fought them at a distance. 

Of these, we shall treat separately, and say something also of 
fortifications, trenches, circumvallation, machines used in war, 
cavalry, and chariots. 

§271. Of Shields. 

A shield, , is first mentioned in Gen. 15: 1. The word 
frequently occurs afterwards, by a figure of speech, for defence or 
protection, 2 Sam. 22: 31, 36. Prov. 30: 5. Ps. 47: 9. 144: 2. There 
is another sort of shield, called JiSiS; and a third called iTnfrb. 
This last occurs for the first time in Ps. 91: 4. in connexion with 

The difference of the shields J-JSS2 and fjitt consisted in this ; 
the latter was smaller in size than the former, which was so 
large as to cover the whole body, 1 K. 10: 16, 17. comp. 2 Chron. 
9: 16 ; hence is always joined with a spear, but *ftT2 with 
sword and arrow's, 1 Chron. 12: 8, 24, 34. 5: 18. 2Chron. T 14: 7. 
26: 14. The word nihb, if we may form an opinion from its 
etymology, signifies a round shield, or buckler. [Gesenius has 
collated the corresponding Syriac word, and is of opinion, that 
the form of this shield cannot satisfactorily be inferred from the et- 

§ 271 . OF SHIELDS. 


ymology of its name.] The form of a fourth sort of shields, call- 
ed tPtaittS and n tpbd , is not well known ; but that these words 
are rightly rendered shields will be sufficiently clear by com- 
paring 2 K. 11 : 10. with 2 Chron. 23: 9. 2 Sam. 8 : 7. 1 Chron. 
18. 7, 8. Shields were manufactured, sometimes of a light sort 
of wood, sometimes of osiers woven together and covered with 
bull's hide, and sometimes of a bull's hide merely, twice or three 
times folded over. The hide was anointed to render it smooth 
and slippery, and to prevent its being injured by the wet, 2 Sam. 
1: 21, 22. Is. 21: 5. Shields made wholly of brass were very un- 
common ; it was sometimes the case, nevertheless, that they were 
covered with thin plates of brass, and even of silver and gold, 1 K. 
10: 16, 17. 14: 25—28. 2 Chron. 13: 13—16. There was a boss 
in the centre of the shield ; and the margin, in order to prevent its 
being injured by the moisture when placed upon the earth, was sur- 
rounded by a thin plate of iron. The handle, with which the shield 
was furnished, was made in various ways. In time of peace, shields 
were hung up in armouries, 2 Chron. 26: 14, and were sometimes 
suspended on the walls of towers, as an ornament, 1 K. 10: 16, 17. 
Cant. 4: 4. Ezek. 27 : 10, 11. Shields were borne by soldiers, 
when they went to war, and were confined to them by a thong, 
which went round the left arm, and the neck, 1 Chron. 5: 18. 12: 
8, 24. 2 Chron. 9: 15. 14: 8. 

When about to attack an enemy, they held the shield by the 
handle in the left hand, and where there was a body of them to- 
gether, they were able, by merely joining shield to shield, to op- 
pose, as it were, a wall against the assaults of their foes. When 
about to scale the walls of a city, they placed them one against 
another over their heads, and in this way formed for themselves 
an impenetrable defence against missile weapons, 2 Chron. 25: 5. 
Job 41: 7. The phrases, " to seize the shield, etc." are used met- 
aphorically to denote preparation for war, 2 Chron. 25: 5. Ezek. 
•38:4, 5. Jer. 46: 9. 51: 11. To lose a shield in battle was igno- 
minious ; to take one from the enemy, on the contrary, was attend- 
ed with honour, IK. 14: 26. 2 Sam. 1: 21. comp. Caryophilus de 
vetcrum clypeis. 


§ 273. COAT OF MAIL. 

§ 272. The Helmet, ^nis, #§ip , mgixeqccluiov. 

The Helmet was a piece of armour, which covered the fore- 
head, and the top, and the hind part of the head, and was sur- 
mounted for ornament with a horsetail and a plume. Anciently, 
the spearmen alone appear to have worn the helmet. To this 
remark, however, the Chaldeans should be made an exception, in 
as much as all the soldiers of that people seem to have been fur- 
nished with this piece of armour, Ezek. 23: 24 Jer. 46: 4. com- 
pare the large German Edition of this Work, P. II. Vol. II. Tab. 
XI. no. 5 and 7. 

It appears from 2 Chron. 26: 14. that king Uzziah had furnish- 
ed an armoury with helmets for the use of his soldiers. 

The materials, from which the helmet was made, was an ox- 
hide ; but it was usually, especially in the more recent ages, cov- 
ered with brass. This piece of armour, in allusion to the purposes 
which it answered in war, is used tropically for defence and protec- 
tion, Eph. 6: 16. 

§ 273. The Cuirass, Breastplate, or Coat of Mail. 

The breast-plate, hJ^i^J^JtJ, Ji^l/i), "p*HO, [sometimes 
rendered in the English version a coat of mail, and sometimes ha- 
bergeon,'] and which was known to the Grecians under the word 
t^co^aS, consisted of two parts, the one of which covered the fore 
part of the body, the other the back ; both pieces being united at 
the sides by clasps or buttons. The breast plate or coat of mail, 
that was worn by Goliath, (1 Sam. 17: 5, 38.) was made of brass. 
And indeed it was not unfrequently the case, that other warriors 
likewise wore a breast-plate, made of that metal. 

This piece of armour was very common among the Hebrews 
after the reign of David, and we find, that it had a place among 
other implements of war and pieces of armour in the armoury of 
king Uzziah, 2 Chron. 26: 14. As it was an efficient means of 
protection to the body, it occurs tropically for defence, Is. 59: 17. 
Eph. 6: 14. 1 Thess. 5: 8. Rev. 9: 17. 



§ 274. Greaves and Military Frock. 

Although there is no mention in the Bible of the piece of ar- 
mour, which was used for the defence of the right arm, (armilla 
militarist it will be remembered that the right foot of Goliath was 
defended with greaves of brass, , 1 Sam. 17: 6. In other in- 

stances, a sort of half greaves or boots, denominated fNO , Is. 9: 4, 
was worn. The practice of defending the feet and legs in this 
way, however, does not seem to have been very common among the 

As the long robe, which was usually worn, was a hindrance to 
that celerity of movement, expected from men engaged in military 
life, the soldiers, accordingly, laid it aside, and wore in its stead a 


The girdle, *nW$, from which the sword was suspended, is 
frequently mentioned among the articles of military dress, Is. 5: 27. 
Eph. 6: 14. 

§ 275. On Fortifications. 

Military fortifications were at first nothing more than a 
trench or ditch, dug round a few cottages on a hill or mountain, 
together with the mound, which was formed by the sand dug out of 
it ; except perhaps that there might have sometimes been elevated 
scaffolding for the purpose of throwing stones with the greater effect 
against the enemy. A city of this kind was built and fortified by 
Cain ; for to build a city and to fortify it, in the Oriental idiom, 
are the same thing. 

In the age of Moses and Joshua, the walls, which surrounded 
cities, were elevated to no inconsiderable height, and were fur- 
nished with towers ; and yet, since the Hebrews, who were unac- 
quainted with the art of besieging cities, took so many of them on 
both sides of the Jordan in so few years, the inference is, that the 
fortifications, which were at the first so terrible to them, (Num. 13: 
28.) were of no great strength. 

The art of fortification was encouraged and patronised by the 
Hebrew kings, and Jerusalem was always well defended, espe- 



cially mount Zion. In later times the temple itself was used as a 

The appropriate names for fortifications in Hebrew are as 

follows, viz. nrniste , niny , "tfte , ?n«3 , and -n* . The 

words, nevertheless, which usually mean cities, viz. "-py', *T3J , tPny, 
in some instances mean fortifications. In the time of the Hebrew 
monarchy, armouries, Wh^Xl tf% , and guards of soldiers, made a 
part of the military establishment, 2 Chron. 17: 2, 19. 26: 14, 15. 
32: 5. 33: 14. 

The principal parts of a fortification were, as follows. 

I. The Wall, nttin. In some instances the wall, erected 
round cities, was triple and double, 2 Chron. 32: 5. Walls were 
commonly made lofty and broad, so as to be neither readily passed 
over, nor broken through, Jer. 51: 58. The main wall terminated 
at the top in a parapet for the accommodation of the soldiers, which 
opened at intervals in a sort of embrasures, so as to give them an 
opportunity of fighting with missile weapons. 

II. Towers, Cb^M , tvfetXn , b^72 , Towers, which were 
erected at certain distances from each other on the top of walls, 
and ascended to a great height, terminated at the top in a flat roof, 
and were surrounded with a parapet, which exhibited openings 
similar to those, which have been just mentioned as making their 
appearance in the parapet of the walls. Towers of this kind 
were erected likewise over the gates of cities. In these towers 
guards were kept constantly stationed. At least this was the 
case in the time of the kings. It was their business to make 
known any thing, that they discovered at a distance, and when- 
ever they noticed an irruption from an enemy, they blew the 
trumpet, 2 Sam. 13: 34. 18: 26, 27. 2 K. 9: 17—19. Nahum 2: 
1. 2 Chron. 17: 2. Towers likewise, which were somewhat larg- 
er in size, were erected in different parts of the country, 
particularly on places, which were elevated ; and were guarded 
by a military force, Judg. 8: 9, 17. 9: 46, 49, 51. Is. 21: 6. Habak. 
2: 1. Hos. 5: 8. Jer. 31: 6. The Hebrew word for structures of 
this kind, is Irt^Sfc ; and we find even to this day, that the circu- 
lar edifices of this sort, which are still erected in the solitudes of 
Arabia Felix, bear their ancient name of castles or towers. The 
watch towers of the shepherds, nrVti , ft^tt , ns^E % are to be 
distinguished from those, which have now been mentioned, al- 



though it was not un frequently the case, that they were converted 
into military towers, and eventually into fortified cities, 2 Chron. 
26: 10. 27: 4. This accounts for the fact, that cities in many in- 
stances occur under the words, b*7S£ and HE^ft ; and also for the 
following proverbial expressions, which are sometimes found, viz. 
" From a watch-tower even to a fortified city." Prophets are fre- 
quently compared to the guards, that were stationed in towers, 
Ezek. 3: 17. 27: 11. 33: 1—9. Hos. 12: 13. 

III. Bastions. [We render the Hebrew word rnss by the 
modern military term, bastions, not because it conveys precisely 
its meaning, but because it appears to approach more nearly to it, 
than any other technical term. The statement following will 
give an idea of what is meant.] The walls were erected in such 
a way as to curve inward ; the extremities of them, consequently, 
projected out. The object of forming the walls, so as to present 
such projections, was to enable the inhabitants of the besieged city, 
to attack the assailants in flank. We learn from the history of Tac- 
itus, V. 11. that the walls of Jerusalem, at the time of its being at- 
tacked by the Romans, were built in this way. The projections 
above mentioned are meant to be designated by the Hebrew word 
ni3S . They were introduced by king Uzziah, 810 years before 
Christ, and are subsequently mentioned in the prophet Zephaniah 
1: 16. 

IV. The Fosse, b* 1 ^ , bin . The digging of & fosse put it in the 
power of the inhabitants of a city to increase the elevation of the 
walls, and of itself threw a serious difficulty in the way of an ene- 
my's approach, 2 Sam. 20: 15. Is. 26: 1. Neh. 3: 8. Ps. 48: 13. 
The fosse, if the situation of the place admitted it, was filled with 
water. This was the case at Babylon. 

V. The gates, tJ^SNI) , • They were at first made of wood 
and were small in size. They were constructed in the manner of 
valve doors, tTftb 1 ? > and were secured by means of wooden bars. 
Subsequently they were made larger and stronger ; and in order to 
prevent their being burnt, were covered with plates of brass or iron, 
rttifrD "'pW . The bars were covered in the same manner, in order 
to prevent their being cut asunder ; but it was sometimes the case, 
that they were made wholly of iron, bp5 "tP")^- The bars were 
secured by a sort of lock, Ps. 107: 16. Is. 45: 2. 


340 § 276. arms for fighting hand to hand. 

§ 276. Arms, with which the Soldiers fought hand to hand. 

The arms, used in fighting hand to hand, were originally a club 
and a battle hammer, but these weapons were but very rarely made 
use of by the Hebrews. Whether the expressions, ^T^3 tii'lj , 
mean an iron club, Ps. 2: 9. 110: 2. arid "pCtt, Prov. 25: 18. means 
the battle-mallet or hammer, that was used in fighting, is a question, 
which has not yet been determined. 

Other sorts of weapons , used in close combat, were as follows. 

I. The Sword, Among the Hebrews it was fastened 
around the body by a girdle, 2 Sam. 20: 8. 1 Sam. 17: 39. Hence 
the phrase, " to gird one's self" with a sword, means to commence 
war, and "to loose the sword," to finish it, 1 K. 20: 11. The 
swords in use among the Hebrews appear to have been short ; some 
of them, however, were longer than others, Judg. 3: 16. and some 
were made with two edges, ni^S, ffiiBlS. Ps. 149: 6. Is. 41: 15. 
Judg. 3: 16. The sword was kept in a sheath ; which accounts for 
such expressions as to draio the sword, Ps. 35: 3. It 
was polished to such a degree, as to render it exceedingly splendid, 
and in reference to this circumstance is used tropically for light- 
ning, Gen. 3: 24. Ps. 7: 12. By a figure of speech, also a sword is 
attributed to God, which the strong imagination of the Hebrew poets 
represents, as if drunk with blood. This representation is carried 
still further, and every misfortune and calamity, and indeed wicked 
persons are represented as the sword of God, which he wields for 
the punishment of others, Ps. 17: 13. Jer. 12: 12. 47: 6. Further- 
more, the word, l^h signifies, in some instances, war itself instead 
of the weapon, to which it is calculated to give employment ; the 
same as it does among the Arabians, Lev. 26: 6. Jer. 14: 12 — 16. 
Compare (.ta%aiQa, Matt. 10: 34. 

II. The spear, nfaH, Num. 25: 7. It was a wooden staff, sur- 
mounted with an iron point. Its length differed at different times 
and among different people. It was never shorter than eleven cu- 
bits, nor longer than twenty four. 



§ 277. Of Javelins. 

Javelins appear to have been of two kinds. In explanation of 
this remark, it may be observed, 

I. That the javelin, which bears in Hebrew the name of rpsrj , 
is almost always mentioned in connexion with the weapons of light- 
armed troops, Ps. 57: 4. 1 Sam. 13: 22. 18: 10. 21: 8. 22: 6. 2 
Sam. 23: 18. In 1 Chron. 12: 34. it is indeed joined with msi£ 
the larger sort of buckler, but it is evident from 1 Sam. 18: 11. 19: 
10. 20: 33. that this weapon, whatever might have been its shape, 
and although it may have sometimes been used as a spear, was, 
nevertheless, thrown, and is, accordingly, to be ranked in the class 
of missile weapons. That rP2ft was a weapon of this kind ac- 
counts for the fact, that the epithet yOfr is joined to it as follows, 

II. That the word 'pTS likewise means a javelin may be 
learnt from Job 39: 23. where it is joined with rPSft . Compare 
Job 41: 29. Josh. 8: 18, 26. 1 Sam. 17: 6. The difference between 
these two sorts of javelins cannot now be known any further than 
this, viz. that "p^PS, as may be inferred with some probability from 
Joshua 8: 18, 26. and 1 Sam. 17: 6. was the largest in size of the 

§ 278. Of the Bow, Arrow, and Quiver. 

The bow, rnn£?p, n*.pp. , and arrows, t^£~, yh, are weapons 
of a very ancient origin, Gen. 48: 22. 49: 24. comp. Gen. 9: 14, 
15. Archers, rttip. ^ah, ri'uip. ^^3, were very numerous among 
the Hebrews, especially in the tribes of Benjamin and Ephraim, Ps. 
78: 9. 1 Chron. 8: 40. 2 Chron. 14: 8. 17: 17. Weapons of this 
description belonged properly to the light-armed troops, who are 
represented, as having been furnished with the sword, the buck- 
ler, and the bow, 2 Chron. 17: 17. The Persian archers, who, in 
other passages, are mentioned with applause, are spoken of likewise 
with commendation in profane history, Is. 13: 18. Jer. 49: 35. 50: 
9, 14, 29, 42. 

The bows were generally made of wood ; in a very few in- 
stances, they were made of brass, Ps. 18: 34. Job 20: 24. Those 


§ 279. THE SLING. 

of wood, however, were so strong, that the soldiers sometimes 
challenged one another to bend their bow. In bending the bow, 
one end of it was pressed upon the ground by the foot, the other 
end was pressed down by the left hand and the weight of the 
body, and the string was adjusted by the right. This accounts for 
the use of the word (which literally means to tread upon,) 

in reference to the bending of the bow, 1 Chron. 5: 18. 8: 40. 2 
Chron. 14: 8. Is. 5: 28. 21: 15. Jer. 46: 9. A bow, which was 
too slack, and which, in consequence of it, injured the person, who 
aimed it, was denominated a deceitful bow, J-pft"l tVtffi , Ps. 78: 57. 
Hos. 7: 16. 

The bow, in order to prevent its being injured, was carried 
in a case, made for that purpose. The strings for bows were 
made of thongs of leather, of horse hair, and of the sinews of ox- 
en, Iliad IV. 116, 124. The soldiers carried the bow on the left 
arm or shoulder. 

Arrows, fi^Ti , were at first made of a reed ; subsequently 
they were made from a light sort of wood, and were surmounted 
with an iron point. Whether they were sometimes dipt in poison or 
not, cannot, at any rate, be determined with much certainty from 
Job 6: 4. and Deut. 32: 24. They were more commonly, by means 
of the shrub called the broom, fcrp, discharged from the bow, while 
on fire, Ps. 120: 4. Job 30: 4. It is in reference to this fact, that 
arrows are sometimes used tropically for lightnings, Deut. 32: 23, 
42. Ps. 7: 13. Zech. 9: 14. 

Quivers, ^fi, were pyramidal in point of form. They were 
suspended upon the back ; so that the soldier, by extending his 
right hand over his shoulders, could draw out the arrows, the small 
part of the quiver being downward. 

§ 279. Of the Sling, . 

The Sling, as there is ample reason for believing, may be just- 
ly reckoned among the most ancient instruments of warfare, Job 
41: 28. The persons, who used slings, tP3>Vj5, , were en- 
rolled among the light-armed troops. Those slingers were ac- 
counted worthy of especial credit, who, like the Benja mites, 
were capable in slinging of using equally the right hand or the 
left, Judg. 20: 6. 1 Chron. 12: 2. There was need of almost con- 

§281. BATTERING RAMS. 343 

stant practice, in order to secure to one, any tolerable degree of 
success, in hitting the mark, 1 Sam. 17: 49. Slingers were of great 
advantage in an army, Diodorus Sic. Lib. XV. 85. 

§ 280. Of Engines used in War. 

Engines of war, tttffttQ, niszttjh. Engines for warlike 
operations, which were the " inventions of cunning men," were 
erected by king Uzziah upon the towers and the angles of the 
walls. They were, consequently, quite ancient in their origin. 
Of these engines, there were two kinds, viz. catapults and bal- 

The catapults were immense bows, which were bent by means 
of a machine, and which threw with great force large arrows, jav- 
elins, and even beams of wood. The ballistae, on the other hand, 
may be denominated large slings, which were discharged likewise 
by machines, and threw stones and balls of lead. 

§281. Battering Rams, t}^3, fe^jD ^HM. 

Battering rams are first mentioned by Ezekiel, as being an 
instrument of war, in use among the Chaldeans, Ezek. 4: 1, 2. 21: 
22. 26: 9. But as they were certainly not invented by them, they 
were of a still earlier date. They were long and stout beams, com- 
monly of oak, the ends of which were brass, shaped like the head 
of a ram. They were at first carried on the arms of the soldiers, 
and impelled against the wall. But subsequently, they were sus- 
pended by means of chains in equilibrium, and in that way, by the 
aid of the soldiers, were driven against it. While this operation 
was going on, for the purpose of breaking through the wall, the 
soldiers, who were immediately interested in it, were protected from 
the missiles of the enemy by a roof erected over them, which was 
covered with raw skins. 



§ 282. Respecting the cavalry. 

We have spoken of the cavalry elsewhere, but we have a few 
remarks more to make here. The Maccabean princes saw, that 
cavalry were not profitable in mountainous places, and bestowed 
their chief attention upon the infantry, by means of which they 
achieved their victories. The Caramanians used asses in war, 
which gained some notoriety by terrifying the horses in the army of 
Cyrus, and putting them to flight, Is. 21: 7. comp. Xenophon's Cy- 
ropaedia, VII. 1. 22. 

Elephants are first mentioned, as being used in war, in the 
history of Alexander's expeditions, but afterwards they were so fre- 
quently and efficiently employed, as to give them much celebrity. 
Machines, constructed like a tower, were placed upon the backs of 
these animals, from which sometimes no less than thirty two sol- 
diers fought. The foot-soldiers were stationed round, and defended 
the elephant. The one, who guided him, was called the Indian, 
as at this day, 1 Mace. 6: 37. The elephants themselves also fought, 
at the same time, against the enemy. To excite them to use their 
proboscis the more efficiently, the soldiers gave them an intoxicat- 
ing drink of wine and Myrrh, 1 Mace. 6: 34. 

§283. Of Chariots of War, Stffi, tt!J3*l^. 

The annoyance, which the Hebrews most dreaded, when they 
met an enemy in war, was that of chariots. Mention is made of 
chariots, as far back as any thing is said of cavalry, Exod. 14: 6. 
14: 23 — 28; but they could not be used, except on the plain 
country, Deut. 20: 1. Josh. 17: 16—18. Judg. 1: 19. 2: 7. 4: 3, 7. 
After the time of Solomon, the Hebrews always kept such chariots, 
and placed great reliance upon them, 2Chron 1: 14. 1 K. 10: 26. 
22: 32, 35. 2 K. 2: 12. Chariots, owing to their efficiency as in- 
struments of war, are used tropically for protection and defence of 
the highest kind, 2 K. 2: 12. 13: 14. 

Chariots of war, like all others in the ancient times, of which 
we are speaking, were supported on two wheels only, and were 
generally drawn by two horses, though sometimes by three or 
four, abreast. The combatant stood upright, upon the chariot. 



Xenophon mentions chariots, invented by Cyrus, from each one 
of which, twenty men could fight. They resembled towers Cy- 
ropaed. IV. 1. 16, 17. The end of the pole of the chariot, and 
the end of the axles were armed with iron scythes, which were 
driven with vast force among the enemy, and made great slaugh- 

§ 284. Sports and Exercises preparatory to War. 

In the earliest periods of the history of our race, every sol- 
dier was indebted to himself, to his own exertions, as a separate 
and independent individual, for whatever skill he might possess in 
the management of weapons of war. For the acquisition of skill, 
nevertheless, even in those early days, in the use of weapons, the 
hunting of wild beasts, which was then practised, afforded a fa- 
vourable opportunity. But as hunting itself implied some previous 
skill in the use of arms, it was necessary, that there should be some 
preparatory practice. Consult Gen. 14: 14. 32: 6. Job 16: 12, 14. 
Judg. 20: 16. 1 Chron. 12: h 2 Sam. 2: 19. 1 Sam. 17: 50. 

That such a preparatory exercise obtained among the He- 
brews is evident from a vast number of passages. It is no other, 
than this exercise, which is expressed by the phrase troftVfa 
to learn war. Those who have been trained up in this way to the 
exercise of arms, were denominated instructed in war, 

1 Sam. 20: 20, 35—40. 2 Sam. 1: 22. 22: 85. Is.' 2: 4. Mic. 4: 3. 

§ 285. Gymnastic Sports. 

The gymnastic sports were not properly military exercises, 
but since they had a tendency to prepare youth for skill in arms 
and war, and were of a military nature in their commencement, 
we shall treat of them in this place. 

The sports and exercises of the gymnasia had their origin 
among the Greeks, but were afterwards introduced among other 
nations. In the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, they became favour- 
ites with many of the Jews, 1 Mace. 1: 14, 15. 2 Mace. 4: 12 — 14. 
and were finally introduced into Judea by Herod. 

The Gymnasia, yvpvaoicc, were large edifices, exhibiting in 
their construction an oblong square, and surrounded externally 





with a portico. The eastern part of one of these piles of buildings 
was separated by a wall from the rest, and occupied more than 
half of the area, allotted for the erection of the whole. A range 
of porticos extended round three sides of the interiour of this part 
of the Gymnasium ; but the fourth side was lined with a flight of 
chambers, some for bathing, some for anointing the body, and some 
to serve as wardrobes. The middle of these chambers was de- 
nominated i<fr l ^etov y ephebium, [the place where the ephebi or 
youth exercised,] by which name the whole edifice was sometimes 

The area under the open air or the open court, including the 
porticos just mentioned, (one range of which, viz. that on the 
north side, was double, was denominated the palaestra, anlaia- 
rgct, in which were witnesssed games and exercises, dancing and 
wrestling, throwing the quoit, and the combat with the caestus. 
The whole edifice was sometimes called the palaestra. 

The western part of the Gymnasium was an oblong, and was 
surrounded by a portico, in which the athletae exercised in un- 
pleasant weather. The porticos for this purpose are called £vozoi t 
Xysti, from which the other parts of the building denominated gu- 
crrcx, Xysta, differed in these particulars, viz ; they were surrounded 
with rows of trees, were not covered with a roof at the top, and were 
used, as places for promenading. 

At the end of the western part of the Gymnasium, was the sta- 
dium. It was a large semicircle, an hundred and twenty-five ge- 
ometrical paces long, and was furnished with seats, which ran 
around it in a circuitous manner, and ascended gradually one above 
another for the accommodation of the spectators. The games, which 
were more particularly witnessed in the stadium, were races on 
foot, on horse back, and with chariots. 

The athletae, after the fourth century before Christ, went 
wholly naked, as they found the clothes, which they wore, were 
an impediment to celerity of motion. There was this exception 
merely, that those, who threw the quoit, or rode the chariot, 
wore a sort of very light garment, 1 Mace. 1: 16. Heb. 12: 1. 
The caestus, to which an allusion is made in 1 Cor. 9: 26. was 
a leather strap, bound by the athletae round the right hand 
and fingers. This strap was wide enough to receive a piece of 
iron or lead, which was rolled upon it, and was discharged, m>y- 



fiiUiv, with all the strength of the combatant against his adversary. 
It became the one against whom it was discharged, to be on the 
look out, and to avoid, if possible, the intended blow. 

The chariot-race, which was run in the stadium, and from 
which Paul, in 1 Cor. 9: 24—27. 2 Tim. 4: 7, 8. and Philip. 3: 11 
— 14. borrows certain illustrations, was, as follows. Four chariots 
started at the same time for the goal, which was at the further ex- 
tremity of the stadium. The one, who reached it first, was the 
conqueror. Other competitors presented themselves, and the 
course was run again by four at a time, as in the first instance. 
The one, who successively gained the victory over all, that pre- 
sented themselves, won the crown, which was woven of branches 
of various trees, and, though of small value in itself, was esteemed 
in the highest degree honourable. A crown of this kind, PQa(3e7ov, 
was given not only to those, who came off victors in the chariot 
race, but to those also, who succeeded in contests, whatever they 
might be, of a different kind, 1 Cor. 9: 54. Phil. 3: 14. Coloss. 3: 
15. 2 Tim. 4: 8. Wherever the victor went, he received a branch 
of palm, Rev. 7: 9 ; he was robed in a splendid dress, and escorted 
with the highest honours to his city and his home. 

The exercises, in which the athletae engaged, were by no 
means trivial, or such as could be easily gone through. It was 
necessary, in order to secure to themselves an adequate degree of 
strength, that they should take a considerable quantity of nou- 
rishment, but their principal meal was in the evening. Their din- 
ner was small, and they were not at liberty to eat of various kinds 
of food, according to their own choice. In addition to some 
coarse bread, they were allowed ten dried figs, nuts, soft cheese, 
and herbs. Indeed it appears, that, in progress of time, they 
were furnished with meat of the most nourishing sort, which was 
roasted and eaten with coarse, unleavened bread ; but they ab- 
stained altogether from wine, and were not permitted to have the 
slightest intercourse with the other sex, not even to look upon 

Certain regulations, in regard to the mode of conducting the 
contest, were entered into by them ; and he who violated them, 
though he was in fact the victor, could not receive the crown. 
Accordingly, as was indeed very necessary, there were judges of 



the games, who saw, that those regulations, which were made in 
respect to them, were observed, and determined, who came off 
conqueror, 2 Tim. 2: 5. 4: 8. 

As the games, in which the athletae exerted their skill and 
physical ability, were extremely popular among the Greeks and 
Romans, it is not at all surprising, that they were objects of ha- 
tred in the sight of the greater part of the Jews. It was the fact, 
nevertheless, that there existed among the Jews themselves a sort 
of game, (different it is true, from those of the Gymnasium,) which 
was practised in Palestine, so late as the time of Jerome, and 
of which, a vestige may still be discovered in the Arabic word, 
? ' " 

Sjt/jjyp . This game consisted in lifting a stone ; the one, who 
could lift it higher than all the rest, was the victor, Zech. 12: 3. 

Note. The theatre, which was introduced by Herod and his 
sons into Palestine, was an edifice, constructed in such a manner, 
as to describe the larger half of a circle. The games were exhibit- 
ed in that part of it, where a line would have passed to enclose pre- 
cisely a semicircle. 

Amphi-theatres may be described by saying, that they were 
two theatres united ; they were, of course, oblong in point of form, 
and the games were exhibited in the centre of them. The seats, 
which extended round the interiour of both theatre and amphi- 
theatre, ascending gradually, one above another. These edifices 
were left open at the top, except in the later periods of the Ro- 
man empire, when there was some change in the style of their 
architecture. In case of great heat or of rain, the opening above 
was enclosed by means of a piece of cloth of a close texture, ex- 
tended over it. 

In theatres of this kind, comedies and tragedies were acted ; 
assemblies of the people were held, and ambassadors were re- 
ceived, Acts 12: 20. 19: 29. Among the Romans, sports also of 
various kinds were exhibited. They were mostly gymnastic ex- 
ercises, but some of them in truth were of a very bloody charac- 
ter. Since criminals, who had been condemned by the laws of 
the country, and enemies, who had been captured in war, were 
compelled to fight, till they lost their life, either with wild beasts, 
or, (in order to gratify the spectators with the mimic representa- 

§ 286. OF ENCAMPMENTS. 349 

tion of a battle,) with one another. Compare 1 Cor. 4: 9. and Ileb. 
10: 33. 

§ 286. Of Encampments. 

The art of laying out an encampment, E^ntt, nfarlJa , , 
appears to have been well understood in Egypt, long before the de- 
parture of the Hebrews from that country. It was there, that Moses 
became acquainted with that mode of encamping, which, in the 
second chapter of Numbers, is prescribed to the Hebrews. 

In the encampment of the Israelites, to which we have alluded, 
it appears, that the holy tabernacle occupied the centre. In re- 
ference to this circumstance, it may be remarked, that it is the 
common practice in the East for the prince or leader of a tribe to 
have his tent pitched in the centre of the others, and it ought not 
to be forgotten, that God, whose tent or palace was the holy tab- 
ernacle, was the prince, the leader of the Hebrews. The tents, 
nearest to the tabernacle, were those of the Levites, whose busi- 
ness it was to watch it, in the manner of a pretorian guard. The 
family of Gershom pitched to the West, that of Kohath to the 
South, that of Merari to the North. The priests occupied a po- 
sition to the East, opposite to the entrance of the tabernacle, 
Num. Is 53. 3: 21 — 38. At some distance to the East, were the 
tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun ; on the South were those 
of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad ; to the West were Ephraim, Manas- 
seh, and Benjamin ; to the North, Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. 
The people were thus divided into four divisions, three tribes to 
a division ; each of which divisions had its separate standard, 
ba*. . Each of the large family associations likewise, of which the 
'different tribes were composed, had a separate standard, termed, 
in contradistinction from the other, nitf ; and every Hebrew was 
obliged to number himself with his particular division, and follow 
his appropriate standard. The Israelites, probably in forming 
their encampment at this time, imitated the method of the Noma- 
des, and formed it in such a way, as to exhibit a circular appear- 
ance. There does not appear to be any proof, that this mode of 
encampment was especially followed, at any subsequent period. 

We learn from 2 Sam. 16: 5, et seq. that there were no senti- 
nels stationed during the night in the encampment of Saul ; which 



was done, as we learn, in other instances, in case there was any 
danger, the sentinels relieving each other at stated intervals, Judg. 
7: 19. 1 Sam. 14: 16. 26: 14 — 17. In respect to this point, we 
may infer, moreover, from the fact of sentinels being kept perpetu- 
ally upon the walls of the city in subsequent periods of the monar- 
chy, that they certainly were not wanting in the camps. 

Fires also were kept burning before encampments during the 
night. Fires of this kind were not the same thing, as some under- 
take to say, with the pillar of fire, which went before the Israelites 
in Arabia Petrea. See Num. 9: 15 — 23. 

Moses gives the following regulations in respect to the encamp- 
ment in the wilderness, Num. 5: 1 — 4. Deut. 23: 10 — 15. 

I. That every unclean person shall live out of it. 

II. [The second regulation, to which reference is here made, 
stands in the English version, as follows.] " Thou shalt have a 
paddle upon thy weapon ; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease 
thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith and turn back, and cover 
that, which cometh from thee. For the Lord, thy God, walketh 
in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee and to give up thine ene- 
mies before thee," &lc. A practice of this kind is observed to this 
day among the Ottomans. See the third Epistle of Busbeque, p. 

§ 287. On Military Marches. 

The same order was observed by the Hebrews in the wilder- 
ness, when on their march, which was practised by them, when 
forming their encampment. As soon as the cloud ascended over the 
tabernacle, the priests sounded with the silver trumpets FflhitiSSJft, 
Num. 9: 15 — 23. a warning which is expressed in Hebrew by the 
phrases it^Pi and rtap*Tn 3?j?n. 

Immediately Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun on the East set for- 
ward. At the second sound of the trumpets, Reuben, Simeon, and 
Gad on the South followed. The march was next commenced by 
the Levites, who bore the parts of the tabernacle, and the ark of 
the covenant. They were followed, at the third sound of the trum- 
pets, by Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin from the West, and, at 
the fourth, by Dan, Asher, and Naphtali from the North, who 



brought up the rear, n:t . Each one followed the standard of his 
particular corps and family. 

When the cloud descended again, the encampment was formed 
in the order, mentioned in the preceding section, Num. 2: 1, 3, 10, 
17, 18, 25, 31. 10: 5—8, 23—28. That the Hebrews could not, 
at a subsequent period, after they had settled in Palestine, observe 
the same order in their military expeditions, which was observed 
by them, while marching in the wilderness, is a matter so evident, 
that it hardly needs to be mentioned. 

§ 288. On Military Standards. 
Of military standards, there were, 

I. The Standard, denominated b}/7 degcl; one of which pertain- 
ed to each of the four general divisions. The four standards of 
this name were large, and ornamented with colours in white, 
purple, crimson, and dark blue. The Jewish Rabbins assert, 
(founding their statement on Gen. 49: 3, 9, 17, 22 which in this 
case is very doubtful authority,) that the first of these standards, 
viz. that of Judah, bore a lion ; the second, or that of Reuben, bore 
a man; that of Ephraim, which was the third, displayed the figure 
of a bull ; while that of Dan, which was the fourth, exhibited the 
representation of cherubim. They wrought into the standards with 
embroidered work. 

II. The Standard, called rnN oth. The ensign of this name 
belonged to the separate classes of families. Perhaps it was, orig- 
inally, merely a pole or spear, to the end of which a bunch of 
leaves was fastened, or something of the kind. Subsequently, it 
may have been a shield, suspended on the elevated point of such 
pole or spear, as was sometimes done among the Greeks and Ro- 

III. The Standard, called D3 nes. This standard was not, 
like the others, borne from place to place. It appears from Num. 
21: 8, 9. that it was a long pole, fixed into the earth. A flag was 
fastened to its top, which was agitated by the wind, and seen at a 
great distance, Jer. 4: 6, 21. 51: 2, 12, 27. Ezek. 27: 7. In order 
to render it visible, as far as possible, it was erected on lofty moun- 
tains, and was in this way used as a signal, to assemble soldiers. 
It no sooner made its appearance on such an elevated position, 



than the war-cry was uttered, and the trumpets were blown, Is. 5: 
26. 13: 2. 18: 3. 30: 17. 49: 22. 62: 10—13. 

Note. It has been already remarked, that the priests blew 
alarms and warnings with silver trumpets. It may further be obser- 
ved, that, in very many instances, such notices were given by means 
of horns, which were used in war likewise by many other nations, 
Josh. 6: 4, 5. Judg. 3: 27. 6: 34. 7: 18. 1 Sam. 13: 3. 2 Sam. 2: 
28. 18: 16. 20: 1, 22. Is. 18: 3. Jer. 4:5, 15,21. 6: 1, 17. 42: 14. 
51: 27. Hos. 5: 8. 8: 1. 

§ 289. Respecting War. 

Previously to commencing war, the heathen nations consulted 
oracles, soothsayers, necromancers, and also the lot, which was as- 
certained by shooting arrows of different colours, 1 Sam. 28: 1 — 10. 
Is. 41: 21—24. Ezek. 25: 11. The Hebrews, to whom things of 
this kind were interdicted, were in the habit, in the early part of 
their history, of inquiring of God by means of Urim and Thummim, 
Judg. 1:1. 20: 27, 28. 1 Sam. 23: 2. 28: 6. 30: 8. 

After the time of David, the kings who reigned in Palestine, 
consulted according to the different characters, which they sustain- 
ed, and the feelings, which they exercised, sometimes true prophets, 
and sometimes false, in respect to the issue of war, 1 K. 22: 6 — 13. 
2 K. 19: 2, et seq. 20, et seq. Sacrifices were also offered, in re- 
ference to which the soldiers were said " to consecrate themselves to 
the war," Is. 13: 3. Jer. 6: 4. 51: 27. Joel 3: 9. Obad. 1. There 
are instances of formal declarations of war, and, sometimes, of pre- 
vious negotiations, 2 K. 14: 8. 2 Chron. 25: 17. Judg. 11: 12—28 ; 
but ceremonies of this kind were by no means always observed, 
2 Sam. 10: 1 — 12. When the enemy made a sudden incursion, 
or when the war was unexpectedly commenced, the alarm was 
given to the people by messengers rapidly sent forth, by the sound 
of warlike trumpets, by standards floating on the loftiest places, 
by the clamour of many voices on the mountains, that echoed 
from summit to summit, Judg. 3: 27. 6: 34. 7: 22. 19: 29, 30. 
ISam. 11: 7, 8. Is. 5:26. 13: 2. 18:3. 30: 17. 49:2. 62: 10. Mil- 
itary expeditions commonly commenced in the spring, 2 Sam. 11: 1. 
and were continued in the summer, but in the winter, the soldiers 



went into quarters. There is no mention made in Scripture of a 
war being settled by a combat between two individuals. In the 
case of David and Goliah, it is true, there was a challenge and a 
combat, but there was no previous agreement between the two 
armies, which prevented the further effusion of blood. 

War is considered by the Orientals, as a judgment sent from 
heaven. It is God, who grants victory to those who are in the 
right, but sends defeat upon those, who are in the wrong, 2 Chron. 
20: 12. Is. 66: 15, 16. This idea, viz. that God fights for the good 
against the wicked, very frequently discovers itself in the Old Tes- 
tament, and accounts for the fact, that, not only in the Hebrew, 
but also in the Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldaic, words, which original- 
ly signify justice, innocence, or uprightness, signify likewise vic- 
tory ; and that words, whose usual meaning is injustice or wick- 
edness, also mean defeat or overthrow. The same may be said in 
respect to words, which signify help or aid, [for instance IWia? J in 
as much as the nation, which conquered, received aid from God, 
and God was its helper, Ps. 7: 9. 9: 9. 26: I. 35: 24. 43: I. 75: 3. 
76: 13. 78: 9. 82: 8. 1 Sam. 14: 45. 2 K. 5: 1. Is. 59: 17. Habak. 
3: 8. Ps. 20: 6. 44: 5. 

§ 290. Preparations for Battle. 

Before battle the various kinds of arms were put in the best 
order ; the shields were anointed, and the soldiers refreshed them- 
selves by taking food, lest they should become weary and faint 
under the pressure of their labours, Jer. 46: 3, 4. Is. 21: 5. The 
soldiers, more especially the generals and kings, except when they 
wished to remain unknown, (1 K. 22: 30 — 34.) were clothed in 
splendid habiliments, which are denominated, (Ps. 110: 3.) ^'itl 
'inp the sacred dress. The Hebrew words for an army in battle 
array are pdb % ^-}2>73 , ilD^E , rO^Jq . The phrase, which is us- 
ed to express the action of thus setting an army in array, is 
nttfrbtt ^pHSrt ; it occurs in Gen. 14: 8. and very frequently af- 
terwards, but we are left in some uncertainty in respect to its 
precise import. There is evidence, however, for stating as far as 
this, viz. that the army was probably divided into the general di- 
visions of centre, and left, and right wing, in as much, as there is 
frequent mention made of B^'Ji^S) , i. e. leaders of a third part , Gen. 



14: 14, 15. Judg. 7: 16—19. Exod. 14: 7. 15:4. 2K.7:2. 17: 19. 
10: 25. That the army was so arranged, as to form a phalanx of 
some sort, there can hardly be room for a doubt. Bodies of men 
drawn up in military order, in some instances, especially if danger 
pressed hard upon them, performed very long marches. This was 
the case with the Hebrews, when they departed from Egypt, Exod. 
13: 18. comp. Josh. 1: 14. 4: 12. Judg. 7: 11. While the ap- 
proaching army was at a distance, there was nothing discernible but 
a cloud of dust ; as they came nearer the glittering of their arms 
could be discovered, and at length the manner, in which they were 
drawn up, might be distinctly seen, Ezek. 26: 10. Is. 14: 31. Xeno- 
phon in Expedit. Cyri I. 8, 5. 

It was the duty of the priests, before the commencement of 
the battle, to exhort the Hebrews to exhibit that courage, which 
was required by the exigency of the occasion. [The words, which 
they used, were, as follows. "Hear, O Israel; ye approach this 
day unto battle against your enemies ; let not your hearts faint ; 
fear not, and do not tremble ; neither be ye terrified because of them. 
For the Lord, your God, is he, that gocth with you, to fight for you 
against your enemies, to save you,"] Deut. 20: 2, et seq. In more 
recent times, exhortations to the soldiers of this kind were given by 
generals, and kings, 2 Chron. 13:4. 20: 20. In some cases, sacri- 
fices were offered, either by some prophet, or by some other person, 
while he was present, 1 Sam. 13: 8 — 13. 

The last ceremony, previous to an engagement, was the sound- 
ing, S^ITJ > °f tne sacred trumpets by the priests, Num. 10:9, 10: 2 
Chron. 13: 12—14. 1 Mace. 3: 54. 

§ 291. Concerning the Battle. 

The Greeks, while they were yet three or four furlongs dis- 
tant from the enemy, commenced the song of war ; something re- 
sembling which, occurs in 2 Chron. 20: 21. They then rais- 
ed a shout, ccXcdd&iv, which was also done among the Hebrews, 
rns, nntibn m'*nn, 1 Sam. 17: 52. Josh. 6: 6. Is. 5: 29, 

30. T 17: 12^ Jer. 4: 19. 25: 30. The war-shout in Judg. 7: 20. 
was, as follows ; " The sword of the Lord and of Gideon," 
p^ttb 5 ! nih^b At other times perhaps, at least in some in- 

stances, it was a mere yell or inarticulate cry. The mere march 



of armies with their weapons, chariots, and trampling coursers, 
occasioned a great and confused noise, which is compared by the 
prophets to the roaring of the ocean, and the dashing of the moun- 
tain torrents, Is. 17: 12, 13. 28: 2. The descriptions of battles in 
the Bible are very brief, but, although there is nothing especial- 
ly said in respect to the order, in which the battle commenced 
and was conducted, there is hardly a doubt, that the light-armed 
troops, as was the case in other nations, were the first in the en- 
gagement. The main body followed them, and, with their spears 
extended, made a rapid and impetuous movement upon the ene- 
my. Hence swiftness of foot in a soldier is mentioned, as a ground 
of great commendation, not only in Homer, but in the Bible. 2 Sam. 
2: 19—24. 1 Chron. 12: 8. Ps. 18: 33. 

It was often the case in battle, that soldier contended person- 
ally with soldier. As, in contests of such a nature, the victory 
depended on personal strength and prowess, the animosity of the 
combatants became very much excited, and the slaughter, in pro- 
portion to the whole number, was immense. A common stratagem 
of war among the Hebrews was that of dividing the army, and 
placing one part of it in ambush, Gen. 14: 14 — 16. Josh. 8: 12. Judg. 
20: 39. Notwithstanding it was the sentiment of the early times, 
of which we are speaking, that deception and art of any kind 
whatever, however unjust, might be lawfully employed against an 
enemy, there is, nevertheless, no instance of such deception re- 
corded in the Bible, except the one in Gen. 34: 25 — 31. and 
which is there far from being approved of. If, in reference to 
this statement, we should be referred to the conduct of Jael, (Judg. 
4: 17 — 22.) we should feel at liberty to say, that her daring deed 
could hardly be considered a stratagem, and at the worst was only 
pursuing a wrong course amid the collision of opposite duties. 

The Hebrews, when about to attack an enemy, deemed it a 
good reason for rejoicing, if they saw a storm arising, from the 
hope which they indulged in, that God was coming in the clouds 
to their assistance, 1 Sam. 7: 10. Judg. 5: 20, 21. Josh. 10: 12—15. 
Habak. 3: 11. 

The attack, which is made by the Orientals in battle, always 
has been, and is to this day, characterized for vehemence and im- 
petuosity. In case the enemy sustain an unaltered front, they re- 
treat, but it is not long before they return again, with renewed ar- 



dour. It was the practice of the Roman armies, to stand still in 
the order of battle, and to receive the shock of their opposers. 
To this practice there are allusions in the following passages, viz. 
1 Cor. 16: 13. Gal. 5: 1. Eph. 6: 14. Philip. 1: 27. 1 Thess. 3: 8. 
2. Thess. 2: 15. 

§ 292. On Sieges. 

In case an enemy threatened to attack a city, guards of vigi- 
lant and sedulous watchmen were stationed in towers, and on the 
tops of mountains, who made known, by signs, or by messengers, 
whatever they had observed. At Jerusalem in an extremity of 
this kind, the fountains beyond the walls of the city were filled up, 
Is. 22: 9 — 11. Cities were sometimes taken by sudden and vio- 
lent onsets, sometimes by stratagem, sometimes by treason, and at 
others, were reduced less expeditiously by means of famine. When 
there were no machines to assist in the siege and to break 
down the walls, it was much protracted, and under such circum- 
stances was never undertaken, except as a last resort. When a 
city was threatened, it was in the first place invited to surrender, 
fcfi*«& rt*V« *np r , Deut. 20: 10. Is. 36: 1—20. 37: 8—20. If the 
besieged had concluded to capitulate, the principal men of the 
city went out to the enemy's camp, in order to effect the object. 
Hence, " to go forth" or u come out" in certain connexions, mean 
the same as to surrender by capitulation, 1 Sam. 11: 3, 10, 11. 2 
K. 18: 31. 24: 12. Jer. 21: 9. 38: 17, 18. 1 Mace. 6: 49. 

In the most ancient ages, the enemy surrounded the city with 
a band of men, sometimes only one, at most only two or three 
deep, and effected their object by assault ; hence the very common 
phrases, " to encamp against a city" or " to pitch against" and 
" to straiten it," Josh. 10: 5. Judg. 9: 50. 1 Sam. 11: 1. 2 K. 25: 
1. Is. 29: 3. 

§ 293. ClRCUM VALIDATION, TlfQlTeiX ?') p?.^ • 

Circumvallation was known in the time of Moses, also the 
mound called iiirrb, Deut. 20: 19, 20 ; although it is not mentioned 
again afterwards, till 2 Sam. 20: 15. 

The besiegers, when the siege promised to be of Jong con- 


§ 294. the besieger's mound. 357 

tinuance, dug a ditch between themselves and the city, for their 
own security, and another parallel to it outside, so as to enclose 
their camp on both sides, and to prevent being attacked in rear, 
as well as in front. The earth, thrown out of the ditch, form- 
ed a wall, on which towers were erected. The inhabitants of 
the city shut up in this way perished by degrees, by famine, 
pestilence, and missile weapons, 2 K. 25: 1. Jer. 52: 4. Ezek 4: 
2. 17: 17. 2 K. 6: 28—31. Ezek. 4: 10—15. 5: 10—15. Jer. 32: 
24. 34: 17. 

§ 294. The Besieger's Mound, ttbbb 

The besiegers, in order to succeed against the walls of the city, 
when they were elevated and strong, cast up a mound of earth 
and strengthened it on both sides with beams of timber. It ran 
in an oblique direction from the lines of circumvallation towards 
the less strongly fortified parts of the city, and sometimes equal- 
led in altitude the city wall itself. The erection of this mound or 
wall is expressed by the Hebrew phrase, "pyfi iibbb 
literally to cast up a bank against the city, 2 Sam. 20: 15. 2 K. 
19: 32. Jer. 6: 6. 32: 24. 33: 4. Ezek. 4: 2. 17: 17—23. 26: 8. 
The inhabitants of the city fought against the mound with missile 
weapons ; the besiegers, on the contrary, posting themselves upon 
it, threw their weapons into the city. In the meanwhile the bat- 
tering rams were erected and made to moye forward, in order to 
break down the city wall, in which case, the besiegers frequently 
erected another wall inside of the first, in doing which they tore 
down the contiguous houses, and employed their timbers in its 
erection, Is. 22 : 10. Sometimes the besieged, when they had 
captivated any of the more distinguished of the assailants, scourged 
them or slew them on the walls, or sacrificed them, that they might 
intimidate their enemies, and influence them to depart, 2 K. 3: 27. 
When the wall was broken through, ns^s Ezek. 21: 27. and 
the besiegers had entered, the remainder of it, at least in a great 
degree, was thrown down, as was the case, when the city capitulat- 
ed, 2 K. 14: 13. 2 Chron. 25: 23, 24. The expressions, to draw a 
city with ropes into a valley or river, (2 Sam. 17: 13.) is a proverb- 
ial boast. 



§ 295. On the consequences of Victory. 

Anciently, although humanity was considered praiseworthy, 
the power of the conquerors owned no limitation ; flocks and cat- 
tle, the fruits of the earth, fields, gardens, and houses, together 
with the idol gods of the conquered, fell into their possession. 
They sold the wives and children also, of those, whom they had 
subdued, for slaves, and razed their cities to the ground, 2 Sam. 
5: 21. 2 Chron. 25: 14. Hos. 10: 5, 6. Jer. 46: 25. 48: 7. The 
principal men among the conquered, the soldiers, and the artificers, 
who were employed in the construction of arms, and the erection 
of fortifications, were sent away into distant provinces. The 
conquerors, however, were not always destitute of humanity. In 
many instances they permitted the conquered kings to retain their 
authority, only requiring of them the promise of good faith, and 
the payment of tribute. In case the kings, who were thus used, 
rebelled, they were treated with the greatest severity, Gen. 14: 4. 
2 K. 23: 34. 24: 1, 14. Is. 24: 2. Jer. 20: 5, 6. The soldiers, who 
were taken, were deprived of all their property and sold naked into 
servitude. When the city was taken by assault, all the men were 
slain ; the women and children were carried away prisoners, and 
sold at a very low price, Mic. 1: 11. Is. 47: 3. 20: 3, 4. 2 Chron. 
28: 9—15. Ps. 44: 12. 

We might, therefore, well expect the great lamentation and 
wailing, which were customary among those, who were conquer- 
ed. Those, who were able to, made their escape, Is. 16: 1 — 6. 
Jer. 41: 5. 43: 6. Those, who could not escape, threw away their 
gold and silver, that they might be the more safe from the cruel- 
ty of the soldiers, Ezek. 7: 19. The fugitives sought for safety in 
the tops of mountains, in caves,, and amid rocks ; hence God on 
account of the protection he affords is called a rock, ""lIX, Judg. 20: 
47, 48. Jer. 4: 29. 16: 16. 22: 20. Ezek. 7: 7, 17. Is. 26: 4. The 
prophets sometimes represent the calamity of subjection by a 
foreign power, as a great drunkenness, which is an evil every 
where, but peculiarly so in the East. Further, as the fortune or 
destiny of man is sometimes called a cup, so this, (one of the most 
afflictive events, that could fall to the lot of man,) was denominat- 



ed the cup of reeling or staggering, ilb^n Jer. 25: 15 — 31. 

Nah. 3: 11. Zech. 12: 2. Ps. 75: 8. 

If the conqueror came in the capacity of a revenger of former 
injuries, he frequently cut down trees, obstructed the fountains, 
filled the cultivated fields with stones, and reduced the ground to 
a state of barrenness for many years. This mode of procedure 
was forbidden to the Hebrews by the law in Deut. 20: 19,20; 
but the prohibition was not always regarded, as appears from 1 
Chron. 20: 1. 2 K. 3: 18—25. The captivated kings and nobles 
were bound, their eyes were put out, and their bodies mutilated, 
they were thrown upon the ground, and trodden under feet, till 
they died, Judg. 1: 6, 7. 2 K. 25: 7. Josh. 10: 24 The captives 
were sometimes thrown down upon thorns, sawn asunder, or beaten 
to pieces with threshing instruments, 2 Sam. 12:31. 1 Chron. 20: 3. 
Judg. 8: 7. 

Frequently old men, women and children were slaughtered, 
and thrown into heaps 2 K. 8: 12. Hos. 10: 14. Is. 13: 17, 18. 
Even " the women with child were ripped up," Is. 13: 16 — 18. 
2 K. 8: 12. Amos 1: 13. In defence of these cruelties, the aven- 
gers were unable to plead the precepts or the example of Moses, 
since the excision of the Canaanites, of which we shall hereafter 
speak, was a case of peculiar kind, as was also the Dnfr or irrevo- 
cable curse, by which, in certain cases, every living thing in the 
conquered country was devoted to death, and property of all kinds 
was consigned to the flames, or preserved merely for the sanctu- 
ary ; by which it was required also, that the city should be level- 
led with the ground, that the site should be sowed with salt, and 
a curse pronounced upon every one, who should afterwards re- 
build it, Lev. 27: 21, 28, 29. Num. 18: 14. Deut. 13: 17. The 
object of this curse or vow, was to make an example of certain 
idolatrous nations, and thereby to deter others from involving 
themselves in the same guilt, and revolting in like manner against 

In some cases the conquered nations were merely made tribu- 
taries, 2 Sam. 8: 6. 2 K. 14: 4. To be a tributary, however, was 
considered a great ignominy, and was a source of reproach to the 
idol deities of the countries, who were thus subjected, 2 Sam. 8: 6. 
2 K. 19: 8—13. Is. 7: 20. Ps. 9: 20. 

The conquerors were intoxicated with joy ; the shout of victo- 


ry resounded on their tops from mountain to mountain, Is. 42: 11. 
52: 7, 8. Jer. 50: 2. Ezek. 7: 7. Nah. 1: 15. The whole of the 
people, not excepting the women, went out to meet the returning 
conquerors with singing and with dancing, Judg. 11: 34 — 37. 1 
Sam. 18:6, 7. Triumphal songs were uttered for the living, 
and elegies for the dead, 2 Sam. 1: 17, 18. 2 Chron. 35: 25. Judg. 
5: 1 — 31. Exod. 15: 1 — 21. Monuments in honour of the victory 
were erected, 2 Sam. 8: 13. Ps. 60: 1. and the arms of the enemy 
were hung up, as trophies, in the temples, 1 Sam. 31: 10. 2 K. 11: 
10. The soldiers, who conducted meritoriously, were honoured 
with presents, and had the opportunity of entering into honourable 
matrimonial connexions, Josh. xiv. 1 Sam. 17: 25. 18: 17. 2 Sam. 
18: 11. 

David instituted a separate corps or order of military men, viz. 
those, who were most renowned for their warlike deeds, 2 Sam. 23: 
8—39. 1 Chron. 11: 10—50. 

Many nations were in the habit of leaving the bodies of their 
enemies, as a prey to the wild beasts and birds, (1 Sam. 17: 44. 
Jer. 25: 33.) and the feast, which was given to these destroyers, is 
represented, as having been prepared by God himself, the judge 
of nations. Frequently the lifeless bodies of men, who had been 
distinguished, were given up to their relations, 2 Sam. 2: 32. 21: 
14. Ezek. 39: 11 — 14; sometimes they were made the subjects 
of insults, 1 Sam. 31: 8. The Hebrews, whether citizens at home 
or soldiers in war, whenever they came in contact with a dead 
body, were rendered unclean, and were obliged by the Mosaic law 
to purify themselves, Num. 31: 19 — 24. 

§ 296. On the Severities of ancient Warfare. 

Anciently war was characterized by deeds of ferocity and cru- 
elty. The Hebrews, therefore, have a claim on our forgiveness, 
if, in some instances, they resorted to those cruel measures, which 
were universally prevalent in their day, in order to strike terrour 
upon other nations, to deter them from committing injuries upon 
themselves, and to secure their own tranquillity. There are some 
things, however, in their history, which cannot be approved, 2 
K. 15: 16. 2 Chron. 25: 12. Judg. 8: 4—21. 20: 1—30. Still, as 
hinted above, their severity in all instances cannot be condemned, 


for it is permitted, by the natural law of nations, to a people, to 
inflict, as many, and as great evils, upon an enemy, as shall be ne- 
cessary to deter others from committing the like offence. The 
prevalent state of feeling among nations, whether it tend to kind- 
ness or to cruelty, will determine, how much is necessary to se- 
cure such an object. Nations anciently could not exhibit that hu- 
manity and forbearance in war, which are common among modern 
European nations, without running the risk of exposing themselves 
to every sort of injury, Num. 31: 14, 15. 2 Sam. 12: 31. comp. 2 
Sam. 10: 1—5. 11: 1. Amos 1: 13. 2 Sam. 8: 2. comp. 2 K. 3: 27. 
Amos 2: 1. For the most part, however, the Hebrews were com- 
paratively mild and humane, 2 Sam. 8: 2. 1 K. 20: 30—43. 2 K. 6: 
21—23. 2 Chron. 28: 8. 

§297. Justice of the War against the Canaanites. 

The cause of the expulsion of the Canaanites is stated in Gen. 
15: 16. to have been the corruption of morals, which prevail- 
ed among them. God took it upon himself, in his providence, to 
punish this corruption, and, in the estimation of many persons, 
employed the Hebrews, as the instruments of his justice, and gave 
to them (jus belli,) the right of carrying on the war in question. 
But while this is conceded, viz. that God designed to punish the 
moral delinquencies of the Canaanites and gave to the Hebrews 
jus belli, it is still inquired, why God did not send the Hebrews 
against some other nations not less corrupt, as well as against the 
Canaanites, and why he chose to select the Hebrews in prefer- 
ence to any other people. Something further, therefore, remains to 
be said. 

Those, who maintain, that the Hebrews attacked the Canaan- 
ites with no other right or justice, than is common to other emi- 
grating nations, who, in pursuit of new habitations, have expel- 
led the people from the land, where their ancestors had anciently 
dwelt, say in effect, that they had no right or justice on their side 
at all. What they state in further defence of their opinions, viz. 
that the sentiment prevailed during the early period in question, 
that the nation, which, with the divine favour, and approbation, 
conquered another, did it justly , proves nothing, because the very 
chapter, (Judg. 11: 24.) to which they appeal, actually announ- 


362 § 297. justice or the war against the canaanites. 

ccs, on the part of the Israelites, a right of possession, in respect 
to the land of Canaan, altogether different, Judg. 11: 12 — 28. So 
that, though it be true, that they were in the habit of identifying 
success with justice, and of saying, that the nation, which conquer- 
ed, was favoured of God and in the right, it is evident, in this 
case, they had other and more legitimate grounds for the war. 

Further, if the Hebrews had attacked the Canaanites with the 
same right that other emigrating nations have attacked those, who 
came in their way, i. e. with no right at all, they would not have 
spared the Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites, nor have asked of 
the Amorites a peaceable passage over the Jordan, Num. 20: 14 — 
22. 21: 4, 10—31. 22: 1—35. 31: 3—54. Deut. 2: 4—12, 16—37. 

The truth is, that Abraham with his servants and his flocks 
had originally occupied the pastures of Canaan, and had virtually 
declared by the wells, which he dug, and the altars he erected, 
his right to the land, and his determination to hold it, Gen. 12: 5, 
6, 8, 9. 21: 25—30. comp. 13: 4, 14, 18. 15: 7, 13—21. 17: S. 
This patriarch left the soil, to be occupied after his death, not to 
Ishmael, but to Isaac ; who in turn transmitted it to Jacob, to the 
exclusion of Esau. The Canaanites, it is true, were at that time in 
the land, (Gen. 12: 6.) but they were few in number, and occupied on- 
ly a small part of it. The patriarchs, therefore, had come into a fair 
and undeniable possession of this territory, and furthermore had oc- 
cupied it, in their own persons, for two hundred and fifteen years ; 
and Jacob and his sons, when they emigrated into Egypt, were so 
far from abdicating the country, or giving up their right to it, that 
they evidently went away, with a determination to return, Gen. 
48: 4, 21, 22. 49: 1—26. comp. 1 Chron. 7: 21, 24. During the 
abode of the Hebrews in Egypt, the Canaanites, who had increas- 
ed in numbers, occupied the whole of the territory, and the He- 
brews who were thus excluded from their own soil, soon had evi- 
dence, that there was not the least prospect of their recovering it, 
except by an appeal to arms. It belonged to the Canaanites to make 
the first advances toward an amicable adjustment, but, as they de- 
clined it, they owed the consequences of the war, disastrous as they 
were, to the course which they themselves had pursued, Josh. 11: 
19. 9: 3—26. 



Note. General view of the argument, that Palestine had 
from time immemorial been the property of hebrew herdsmen, 
and that the israelites had a right to claim it again from the 


[As the propriety of Dr. Jahn's conclusions in the above sec- 
tion depends essentially on the proof, which can be exhibited, that 
the Hebrews in fact originally possessed Palestine, and had not done 
anything by way of relinquishing such possession, but on the con- 
trary had in various ways asserted the continuance of their claim 
to said territory, it will be proper to give in this place a general 
view of the argument, which is gone into, to show that such was 
the case. The opinions of our author coincide in the main on 
this subject, with those of the ingenious writer of Commentaries on 
the Laws of Moses y and it will probably answer all the purpose for 
those, by whom this translation will be read, if the statement of 
that writer, which forms the 31st Article of his Work, should be here 

[" From time immemorial, Palestine had been a land occupied 
by wandering Hebrew herdsmen, in which even Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob, had exercised the right of proprietorship, traversing it 
with herds, without being in subjection to any one, or acknowledg- 
ing the Canaanites as their masters. The Phenicians, or Cana- 
anites, were certainly not the original possessors, of this land, but 
had at first dwelt on the Red Sea, as Herodotus relates; with 
whom Justin and Abulfeda in so far coincide, as that the former 
says, that they had another country before they came to dwell on 
the Lake of Gennesareth, or Dead Sea ; and the latter, that they 
first dwelt in Arabia. Moses is so far from contradicting Herodo- 
tus here, as has been commonly believed, that he rather express- 
ly confirms his account, by twice saying in the history of Abra- 
ham, The Canaanites were then in the land, Gen. 12: 6. and 13: 7. 
The word then, cannot imply that the contrary was the case in his 
own time ; for then the Canaanites still dwelt in Palestine, and their 
expulsion only began under his successor, Joshua : so that he 
gives us clearly to understand, that there had formerly been a 
time when they dwelt not in that land, but somewhere else. But 
another relation which he gives in Gen. 36: 20 — 30. compared with 
Deut. 2: 12, 22. is still more decisive. He there describes an an- 
cient people, that before the time of Edom, had dwelt in Seir, or 



as we now call it, Idumea, and whom, from their living in subter- 
raneous caverns, he denominates Horites, or Troglodites. Of this 
nation, was that one of Esau's wives, mentioned Gen. 36: 2, 24. 
and as Moses elsewhere relates that Esau had three wives, two of 
Canaanitish descent, and the third a grand-daughter of Abraham, 
(Gen. 26: 34, 35. and 28: 8, 9.) it evidently follows, that the Ho- 
rites who of old inhabited Tdumea, must have been Canaanites. 
Consequently the Canaanites originally dwelt in the region after- 
wards called Idumea, and on the Red Sea ; but when they began 
to carry on the commerce of the world, for which they became so 
renowned in history, they migrated into Palestine, the situation of 
which was peculiarly advantageous for that purpose. It would 
appear, that at first they only established trading marts and facto- 
ries, which could not but be very acceptable to the wandering 
hordes, because they gave them an opportunity of converting 
their superfluous produce into money, and of purchasing foreign 
commodities. By degrees, they spread themselves farther into 
the country, improved the lands, planted vineyards, and at last 
dispossessed the ancient inhabitants ; just exactly as their descen- 
dants did at Carthage, who first asked for a hide-breadth of ground 
whereon to sit, and then by an artful explanation, got a bargain 
of as much room as was sufficient to build a city on, and in the end 
made themselves masters of the whole country. As early as 
Abraham's time, complaints were made of the herds not having 
sufficient room, from the Canaanites being then in the land, and 
crowding it. But this always went on farther and farther ; and 
when the Israelites had for a time gone down to Egypt, the Ca- 
naanites at last appropriated to themselves the whole country. 
This land of their forefathers, and their nation, the Israelites had 
never given up to the Canaanites ; and therefore they had a right 
to reclaim it, and to re-conquer it, by force. If they solicited 
from other nations a passage into Palestine, it was merely to come 
at their own property again : and when they passed the Jordan, 
and found the Canaanites in arms against them, the latter had no 
longer a legitimate cause to maintain, for they wanted to keep 
possession of the property of another people by force. 

" It cannot even be here objected, that the Israelites, by their 
descent into Egypt, had abandoned their right, or that they lost it 
by prescription. They went down to Egypt only for a time, on 



account of a famine ; and it was with the hope and determination 
of returning again, as the divine promise given to Jacob, Gen. 46: 
4. confirms. I do not here inquire into, or draw any conclusion 
from the divinity of the promise : it is sufficient for me that, 
whether true or false, Jacob gave out, that he had in a vision such 
a promise made him ; because it proves the certainty of his hav- 
ing it in view, and making no secret of it, that his posterity should 
one day go back to Palestine. Whether prescription holds among 
nations, the single case excepted, where possession goes back to 
times of which history gives no certain account, and where of 
course, in default of other deductions, prescription does inter- 
fere ; and again, how long a period may be requisite to prescrip- 
tion in the law of nature and nations, (longer, no doubt, than in 
civil law) I will not here stop to inquire ; for prescription cannot 
operate at all where a people avow and maintain their rights 
with sufficient publicity ; and this was done by the Israelites. Ja- 
cob went down into Egypt with a conviction that his descendants 
should, under the divine guidance, return to Palestine ; nor would 
he allow himself to be buried any where else than in his own he- 
reditary sepulchre in Palestine, exacting from his son Joseph an 
oath for that purpose, (Gen. 47: 29 — 31.) And his burial was 
conducted with such solemnity, (Gen. 50: 7 — 13.) that the people 
in Palestine could not possibly entertain a doubt of the intention 
of the Israelites to return thither at some future period. But 
were the matter considered still as somewhat doubtful, because 
Moses does not expressly mention this as the reason of Jacob's de- 
sire to be carried thither ; on the occasion of the death of Joseph, 
it is placed in the clearest light. For he testifies to his brethren., 
his certain hope that God would re-conduct their posterity into 
Palestine ; and therefore he desired not to be buried in Egypt, 
but begged that his body might, after the ancient Egyptian man- 
ner, remain uninterred, while they continued there, and be car- 
ried with the people at their general return into the promised 
land, and laid in the sepulchre of his fathers. Such was his anx- 
iety on these points, that he made his brethren swear that they 
would carefully attend to them ; and accordingly we find, that 
when he died, they did not bury him, but, as was not unusual among 
the Egyptians, let him remain embalmed in his coffin, until their 
descendants, at their departure for Palestine, carried his remains 


along with thern, Gen. 50: 24 — 36. Exod. 13: 19. Could a people 
have given a stronger proof of their animus revertendi, and that 
they had not forever abandoned their ancient country ? Was it 
necessary (I think not) that they should have sent a notary every 
thirty-three years, to protest against the forfeiture of their rights? 
Even the Egyptians well knew the expectations of the Israelites 
on this head ; and that was the principal reason of their oppres- 
sions towards a people that were not to remain forever within 
their country, and in subjection to them. For although from the 
first they did not intend to let them go, yet they were afraid, 
from the rapid increase of their numbers, that if a war took place, 
they might side with the enemy, and not perhaps conquer the 
country, but depart from it;* or, as the proper expression is, go 
up : for we must recollect, that to go from Egypt to Palestine, 
was, in the idiom of the Hebrews, to ascend; and vice versa, from 
Palestine to Egypt, was to descend. From the representation we 
have now given of the origin of the war, it will be easy to per- 
ceive (what to a reader of the Mosaic history must otherwise ap- 
pear at first very strange) why Moses did not attack the Canaan- 
ites beyond Jordan ; but from Og, king of Bashan, and Sihon, 
king of the Amorites, requested nothing more than an unmolested 
passage, and only had recourse to arms when, instead of granting 
it, they marched hastily into the wilderness to meet him, and of- 
fered him battle. The reason was manifestly this, that the Is- 
raelites laid no claim to the country beyond Jordan, but only to the 
pasture-grounds that from time immemorial had belonged to the 
Hebrew herdsmen, and which their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, had actually occupied with their cattle. 

" But might they not at least have left to the Canaanites those 
trading cities which had been built, without opposition from their 
ancestors ?" This question is easily answered. If a foreign peo- 
ple, whom we permit to establish factories and trading cities in 
our land, shall so abuse our generosity, as to dispossess us, and 
gradually appropriate to themselves our whole country ; and when 
we wish to return to our ancient abode, shall meet us with arms 
in their hands, in order to prevent it; and shall, finally, have be- 
come so extremely wicked, as to render it impossible for us to 
live with them, without having our morals corrupted — we certain- 
ly are under no obligation to leave to them these factories and 
* See Exodus 1: 9, 10. 


trading cities, and thereby expose ourselves anew to the risk of 
such corruption. 

" 1 But were not the Israelites in duty bound first to send the 
heralds, and formally demand their lands again from the Canaan- 
ites V This question I must leave completely unanswered, partly 
because it belongs to the yet controverted point whether certain 
solemnities are or are not necessary at the commencement of a war, 
by way of declaration, and particularly, because we do not know 
whether Moses and Joshua did so or not. 

" By way of conclusion, I must still take notice of hco objec- 
tions, which Mr. Oepke has made to my opinion, and on which I 
have not yet touched. But because they are of more weight than 
those before noticed, I ought, perhaps, rather to ascribe them to 
Professor Stiebritz himself. 

"In the first place, he is of opinion, ' that the Israelites 
ought not to have re-appropriated a land possessed by wandering 
herdsmen, unless all the posterity of such herdsmen had transfer- 
red their rights to them.' But let it be remembered, that the 
question here is not concerning wandering herdsmen quite uncon- 
nected with each other, but only concerning those of Hebrew 
origin, and of these, more particularly, the ancestors of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob : and I do not see wherefore such a transfer 
could have been necessary, since we must here judge not by civ- 
il, but by natural law only. If several persons have an equal ti- 
tle to a certain possession, and some of them, either from weak- 
ness or cowardice, do not make it good, and relinquish it ; anoth- 
er, who has the courage to act otherwise, does not from their pu- 
silanimity lose a particle of his right : and if he conquers the land 
which they have abandoned, he holds, first, his own quota, by the 
right of former proprietorship ; and then, the remaining part, by 
the right of conquest ; which in the case of a legitimate war, is 
equally legitimate. The other claimants who did not support him, 
and had relinquished their rights, can make no pretensions to the 
fruit of his victories ; and the unlawful possessors, who had carried 
on an unjust war, have it to thank for subjecting them to greater 
loss than they would probably have experienced, if they had yielded 
with a good grace. 

" In the second place, he objects, ' that I ascribe the war to a 
cause, to which Moses himself has not referred it ; and that, as 



any people that begin a war, are anxious to convince the world of 
the justice of their cause, a reason never once urged by Moses, 
can hardly be held as the true ground of the war.' But here, I 
may very confidently reply, that Moses only gives laws for the 
war against the Canaanites, without any where mentioning the le- 
gal cause of the war: for Mr. O. himself does not account the di- 
vine commandment and promise, as its cause. Moses writes 
histories, and records laws ; but the war-manifesto against the 
Canaanites, from whence we might deduce its justice, has not 
been furnished us by him. And as he mentions no reasons for 
the war, we are not entitled from his silence to form conclusions 
against any particular cause to which it may be ascribed. And of 
all causes, that to which I ascribe it, has the best foundation in the 
history recorded by Moses, through which history he generally 
paves the way for his laws. 

" I must yet add, that this farther objection has been made to 
my opinion, ' that a wandering people could hardly be consider- 
ed as proprietors of a country, in which no individual could speci- 
fy any particular ground as his own, from his always shifting his 
abode from one place to another.' I had not, indeed, considered 
it necessary to notice this objection, because the fact that a com- 
munity may possess undivided property, is so very notorious ; but as 
a learned person, who, in his writings, often refers to my Mosaic 
law, has lately repeated it, it becomes my duty to explain myself 
more fully on this point ; and my answer is this : 

" A community and even a whole nation may possess property 
undivided, and in common. What, indeed, is more frequent 
among ourselves, than such common properties? Many a village 
has a common wood ; of which, not a tree, nor an inch of the 
ground, belongs to any individual villager, and yet the whole is 
their joint property ; and whoever, without full right and leave, 
carries off wood, or even fells a tree, is guilty of theft. Or again ; 
a village or a town has a common meadow, which can never be 
conveniently portioned out into individual properties ; at least no 
part of it belongs to any private person exclusively ; and yet the 
whole, to the community at large. Did those to whom property 
in common appears such a strange matter, never hear, that in 
Germany there are many such commonages, which our modern 
improvers would fain abolish and reclaim, if they durst ; where 



green pasture land, for instance, which might be used to much bet- 
ter purpose under tillage belongs merely as a common to one or 
more villages. The disadvantage of the present system, is uni- 
versally understood ; and the allotment of such lands to par- 
ticular tenants is much to be desired : but then the cry is, that 
communities are not to be deprived of their ancient rights. Even 
the corn fields are in the same situation, in so far as they may not 
be fenced, and must lie fallow at certain times, and after harvest 
be subjected to the servitude of having the herds driven to pasture 
upon them, from perhaps a community of many villages, where even 
those who have not a foot of ground of their own, can assert a 
right to this privilege, from the mere circumstance of occupying a 
house. This too is justly considered as extremely prejudicial to 
the public good, not merely by individual economists, but, in some 
countries, even by the legislative authorities, and the wish to alter 
it is very general ; but it cannot be done, for, it is said as before, 
No man is to be deprived of his right. 

" But even a whole nation may, in like manner, have a common 
undivided property. Thus whole nations, by particular treaties, 
enjoy the right of certain fisheries, such as that of Newfoundland, 
without this property being actually divided, or even possibly di- 
visible among individual fishermen. Thus also the Indians in 
North America, possess their immense forests undivided, as wan- 
dering hunters ; and have justly made great complaints, when at 
any time the English or French colonists have attempted to clear 
and cultivate those forests, without previously purchasing them, 
which is generally done for a mere trifle. I remember to have 
read a great many years ago, in an English journal, (either the 
London or Gentleman's Magazine,) the speech of an Indian chief, 
which he made in a congress of the Indians with the English, and 
in which he represented the injustice of this, in a very rational and 
affecting manner ; observing, that those forests which the Great 
Spirit had of old given to the Indians, and in which they had al- 
ways lived, were now by some of the English daily more and more 
circumscribed, so that in the end they would have no dwelling 
place left them. I cannot recollect the particular place where I 
found that speech ; but allowing it had been entirely fictitious, 
(which it by no means seemed to be, as it bore all the marks of 
truth,) it is very certain that the English governments in America 



do recognize the rights of the Indians. Indeed, the first colonists, 
who, for conscience-sake and religion, emigrated from England, 
took no land without leave of the Indians, and if afterwards, peo- 
ple less conscientious, such as transported criminals, whom the 
Americans will now no longer receive, were sent out, and, taking 
forcible possession of the woods, began to clear and improve them, 
(which actually gave rise to wars,) this was absolutely forbidden by 
the British government ; and those settlers, who wished to pene- 
trate into the woods and form plantations, were, and are obliged 
either to purchase the ground from the Indians, or come to terms 
with them in some other way. 

" By the same common right, have many great people always 
possessed their lands, and still possess them ; as for instance, the 
present Mongul tribes, who live by breeding horses. Their soil 
is extremely rich, and susceptible of the highest cultivation : the 
grass grows to an uncommon height in the fields ; but the whole 
country belongs to the people at large as a common pasturage : 
and against strangers who should attempt to seize or pasture it, 
or circumscribe it by cultivation, they would unite to defend their 
right to it with all their might ; just as our Teutonic ancestors 
defended their forests as public property, against the Romans. I 
should, therefore, think, that until a new code of natural and civil 
law shall be devised, and as long as we must, on account of com- 
mon possessions, abide by the old, objections like the 'present can 
have no force." Commentaries on the Laws of Moses , Art. 31.] 

§ 298. On the Division of the Spoils. 

The spoils of the enemy's army, bbtt) , 13, were divided among 
the victorious soldiers. They were the reward of the toils, which 
they had endured, and were, consequently, the cause, wherever 
they were won, of the most marked indications of joy, Gen. 49: 
27. Exod. 15: 9. Judg. 5: 30. Is. 9: 2, 3. Ezek. 29: 18—20. Ps. 
119: 162. There seems to have been a propriety in making such 
a division of the property taken, for the soldiers anciently, with 
the exception of the officers, and the life-guard of the commander, 
did not receive wages. They either paid their own expenses 
themselves, or were supported by their parents, Judg. 20: 10. 2 
Sam. 17: 17 — 20. The Hebrew kings, however, in a subsequent 



age laid up provisions for the use of the soldiers against a time of 
war, in the cities called store-cities ntoptt 2 Chron. 17: 12. 

32: 28. 

Hired soldiers, (probably in imitation of the Phenicians, Ezek. 
27: 11,) are mentioned in 2 Sam. 10: 6. and also in 2 Chron. 25: 
6 — 9 ; but such participated in the spoils, as well as others, for 
the money paid appears not to have been paid to the soldiers them- 
selves, but to the king or prince, of whom they were hired. 

The soldiers under the Persian monarchy received a regular 
stipend, but they had a portion also in the spoils, which was an ad- 
ditional reward. 

The Maccabees, in imitation of the Greeks, allowed wages to 
their soldiers, 1 Mace. 14: 32. Hence, it is not at all surprising, 
that we find the wages of a soldier frequently mentioned in the New 
Testament, and sometimes tropically, Luke 3: 14. Rom. 6: 23. 1 
Cor. 9: 7. 2 Cor. 11:8. 2 Tim. 2: 4. 

The spoils consisted not only of property in goods, but of men, 
women, and children ; all of whom, if they had been the inhabi- 
tants of cities, that were taken by assault, were sold into slavery, 
Gen. 14: 11, 12. The Hebrew soldiers were at liberty, (Num. 
31: 48 — 54.) to appropriate to themselves whatever spoils they 
might win, with the exception of flocks and men. Articles of 
great value were sometimes claimed by the leader of the expedi- 
tion, Judg. 8: 24, 25 ; a practice, which David himself imitated, and 
by means of which, he was enabled to collect the treasures, which 
were subsequently employed in the erection of the temple, 2 Sam. 
8: 11, 12. 12: 30. 2 Chron. 28: 14—19. When the spoil was di- 
vided, the flocks and the captives were assembled together, and 
when they had been numbered, were divided into two parts, one 
of which was given to the soldiers, who had remained at home, 
and who were obliged to give the fiftieth part of it to the Levites ; 
the other half was given to the soldiers, who had been actually en- 
gaged, and who on their part, were obliged to give only the five hun- 
dredth part to the priests. Compare Gen. 14: 20. The division of 
the property taken among the soldiers was equal, whether they had 
been in battle, or merely guarded the encampment, and baggage, 1 
Sam. 30: 20 — 25. In order to render the distribution equal, the 
flocks, cattle, and prisoners appear to have been publicly sold, and 
a distribution made of the money. 

372 § 299. spoils taken from the Egyptians. 

In case, however, the city was so unfortunate, as to be subjec- 
ted to the tn.n or the curse, the soldiers were not at liberty to take 
possession of the spoils, which it offered, and every thing, generally 
speaking, was destroyed, Deut. 2: 34. 3: 7. Num. 31: 9. Lev. 27: 
28. Josh. 6: 24— 26. 8:26—28. 10:28—30. 11:11. 

§ 299. Respecting the Spoils, which the Hebrews took away 
from the Egyptians. 

It was a principle among nations anciently, that a people, after 
the commencement of a war, could fairly make plunder of the prop- 
erty, which had been deposited or left among them in any way what- 
ever, previously to the war's breaking out. In accordance with this 
right, the precious vases and garments, &c. which were borrowed 
by the Hebrews from the Egyptians, as mentioned in Exod. 3: 22. 
11:2. became, when Pharaoh commenced war upon them by pursu- 
ing with his army, legal spoil. 

An objection to this view of the subject arises from the fact, 
that God himself commanded the Hebrews through Moses, to bor- 
row the articles, and that the Egyptians evidently lent them with 
the expectation of their being returned, and would not otherwise 
have done it. But it is nevertheless, the fact likewise, that the He- 
brews had as much expectation of returning said articles, as the 
Egyptians had, that they would; for it is altogether out of the ques- 
tion to suppose, that they had any knowledge of the communica- 
tions, which, in Exod. 3: 22. passed between God and Moses on 
the subject. The transaction was clearly an event in divine Prov- 
idence, for the propriety of which infinite wisdom is a sufficient 
guaranty, which was designed to place those articles in the hands 
of the Hebrews, as a compensation, (and certainly not too large a 
one,) for the houses, which they left. Supposing it then, to be the 
case, that they were borrowed with the expectation of being return- 
ed, no blame certainly can be attached to the Hebrews for the de- 
tention of them, since they were driven away by such a decided and 
sudden act of hostility, that it was not in their power to do other- 

The word literally to plunder or rob, which in Exod. 3: 22. 
is used in reference to this subject, appears to be employed tropical- 
It/, and out of its usual signification. 



Note. [The above section is rather unskilfully abridged in 
the original, so much so, that it would be difficult for a person, from 
a literal translation of it, as it there stands, to obtain any thing 
like an adequate idea of our author's opinions on the subject in 
question. Something, therefore, has been added to it, from the 
original German, and from Michaelis, who is there referred to by 
Dr. Jahn, as his authority on this subject. For a full and ingenious 
discussion of it, the reader would do well to consult Smith's trans- 
lation of the Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, Vol. III. 
Art. 179.] 

§ 300. Periods, when there was a Cessation from Hostilities. 

It was anciently the practice among the Arabs, who, it may 
be observed, inherited a near relationship to the Hebrews, to con- 
sider four months of the year sacred ; during which they made it 
a point of duty to abstain from the exercise of arms. A practice 
of a similar nature appears to have prevailed among the Moabites, 
AmmoniteSj and Edomites, and likewise among other nations. 

Perhaps this practice will enable us to explain, how it happen- 
ed, that the Hebrew territories remained free from invasions, 
while all the adult males three times every year went to the ta- 
bernacle or the temple, without leaving in their cities and villages 
any guard to protect them from foreign incursions, and that there 
appears in no instances to have been any hostile attack made upon 
them at such times. It is true, that we find in Exod. 34: 24. that 
security from hostile invasions was promised to the Hebrews, when 
they had occasion, on the return of their solemn festivals, to appear 
in the presence of the Lord ; but it is, nevertheless, clear, that a 
promise of this kind could not have been fulfilled to a people, who 
thus lived in the heart of unfriendly nations, except by the interven- 
tion of constant miracles ; unless there had been a practice of the 
kind here mentioned, which caused among them during certain pe- 
riods a suspension of the arts of war. 

The same remark might have been made in respect to the sab- 
bath, if it had been the fact, that the ancient Hebrews reckoned 
the use of arms, among those labours, which were interdicted on 
that day ; but their extreme scrupulosity in this respect, and 



their determination to adhere to the letter of the law do not ap- 
pear to have existed, till after the Captivity. Indeed even at 
this period they soon had occasion to perceive, that to defend 
themselves against the insults of their enemies might be justly 
done, even on the sabbath, 1 Mace. 2: 39 — 42 ; but the restrictions, 
notwithstanding this, which they continued to impose upon them- 
selves, occasioned inconveniences, of which we have no examples 
in the earlier periods of their history. 



SMXBXID M«flfili» 




Our first parents, who were infants in point of knowledge, al- 
though they were introduced into the world, without being such 
in respect to form, were instructed by God himself. They were 
taught in the knowledge of the creator and governour of all things, 
and were likewise subjected to a course of moral discipline by 
the interdiction, which was made in respect to the tree of good 
and evil. The object of this interdiction was to introduce the hu- 
man mind to an acquaintance with what was right, and what was 
wrong, what was good, and what evil. Hence the name of the 
tree, snT ait3 IW, viz. of good and evil, i. e. according to the 
spirit of the Hebrew idiom, of moral distinctions, Gen. 2: 8 — 20. 
Is. 7: 15. Hence two points were established in the religion of 
our first parents, the one, that God is supreme, and that all things 
arose from, and are dependent upon him ; the other, that some 
things are right, and others wrong, and that those things are to be 
done, which are agreeable to God, and those things to be avoided 
which are displeasing to him. 

The punishment, which followed the eating of the interdicted 
fruit, remained a perpetual monitor, that misery is the conse- 
quence of the commission of those things, which are not accepta- 
ble in the divine sight, and that such things, consequently, are not 
to be done. Comp. Gen. 5: 29. The example of Cain also, who 
slew his brother, his banishment and his misery, were a standing 
testimony in the eyes of the whole world, that wickedness is hate- 
ful to God, and ought to be and will be punished. In the progress 

§ 301. Religion down to the Deluge. 



of time, when many crimes received no visible punishment, the 
divine commands became neglected, the powerful oppressed the 
weak and the poor, and there was a general prevalence of levity 
and sensuality. The earth was filled with violence and slaughter. 
About the year 235 after the creation, wickedness was carried 
to such an extent, that the religious thought it necessary to attach 
to themselves, the title of sons or worshippers of God, in contradis- 
tinction from the sons of men, or those, who had forgotten God, 
and were hurried by the impulse of corrupt passions to every sort 
of wickedness. The prevalent evils were increased from the circum- 
stance, that the sons or worshippers of God, married the daugh- 
ters of men, or the irreligious. Wives of this description neglected 
the right instruction of their children, and, as this devolved on 
them, rather than on the fathers, the offspring followed the for- 
mer, rather than the latter, Gen. 4: 26. 6: 1. In this way corrup- 
tion increased and prevailed to such a degree, that the warnings 
of God, which were uttered by the spirit of prophecy, were without 
any avail, Gen. 6: 3. The Deluge followed, in consequence of this 
state of things. 

§ 302. From the Deluge to Abraham. 

This terrible destruction of every living thing was predicted 
120 years before its consummation, Gen. 6: 3. So that the fami- 
ly of Noah might know, that it was^ sent from God, and that the 
object of it was, to leave by such a signal event, a long to be re- 
membered impression, that God is the governour of all things, to 
whom the vices of men are abhorrent, and that, however long suf- 
fering, he will at length punish the wicked. A command was 
given by God, after the Deluge, that every homicide should be pun- 
ished with death, and a promise also, that the deluge should no more 
return. He made the rainbow a visible sign of his promise, and a 
confirmation of it. 

The posterity of Noah laid up in their minds the principles 
and instructions, which have been mentioned ; and when they af- 
terwards attempted to build a tower, and were baffled and scatter- 
ed from each other, they easily gathered from the event, that the 
proceeding was displeasing to God. They appear to have re- 
proved Nimrod for making a similar attempt, and, in allusion to 



his conduct, called him, *i' m \J22 , or the rebel, and made his memory a 
proverb, saying, " Even as Nimrod, the exceedingly mighty hunter." 

At a later period still, men, being still uncultivated, unable to 
direct themselves, and governed by the promptings of imagina- 
tion, attributed a superiour and sublimer energy to various objects, 
and began to expect assistance from them. Thus rocks, trees, an- 
imals, winds, rivers, the sun, moon, stars, dead men, etc. were con- 
verted into divinities. Then came sculptured images, altars, and 
temples. At first they worshipped God, as the ruler of all things, 
at the same time, that they worshipped idols ; but soon God was 
forgotten, and they adored the latter alone. These false divinities 
demanded no morality in their conduct, and both principles and 
conduct grew worse and worse. The greatest crimes were com- 
mitted, as if of little moment, and were even made a part of the 
worship of their gods. 

§ 303. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

The corruption, which has been described in the preceding 
section, continued to spread itself wider and wider, till God gave 
a peculiar calling to Abraham, whose ancestors had from the be- 
ginning sustained during a long period a character for moral in- 
tegrity and religion, Gen. 5: 1 — 32. 11: 10 — 32 ; but had at length 
become idolatrous, Josh. 24: 3. 

It was designed in the Providence of God, that Abraham, the 
Chaldean, and his posterity should preserve and transmit his relig- 
ion, till that period, when it should be communicated to other na- 
tions. In order to secure these objects, God promised to Abra- 
ham, who was a descendant from Shem of the tenth generation, 
his protection, an ample progeny, possession of the land of Canaan ; 
and that all nations should at last be blessed through his seed, 
i. e. should receive the true religion, Gen. 12: 13. 18: 18. 22: 18. 
He coupled these promises with the names of Abraham and Sa- 
rah, which were altered with a reference to them, and connected, 
with the rite of circumcision, the obligation to protect religion, 
Gen. 18: 19 ; so that the names and the rite might be perpetual tes- 
timonies both of the promises in its favour, and the obligations to 
defend it. 

God afterwards repeated the same promises to Isaac and Jacobs 



Gen. 26: 4. 28: 14. who faithfully performed their various duties, 
taught the true worship of God to their domestics, and left it to their 
posterity, Gen. 28 : 20— 22. 35:2—7. 9—13. 39:9. 50:17 

These promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the fulfil- 
ment of the corresponding duties on their part, form the promi- 
nent and fundamental principle, the hinge, as it were, of the an- 
cient covenant ; and to them, accordingly, every thing, which 
follows after, is to be referred, and with them also the new cove- 
nant itself is very intimately connected. 

§ 304. Respecting the Religion of the Patriarchs. 

It appears from what has been hitherto stated, that the knowl- 
edge of the one true God, which is coeval with the existence of the 
human race, was originally communicated by revelation. The pa- 
triarchs themselves knew God to be the creator, governour, and 
judge of the whole earth, not by reasoning from philosophical 
principles, which were then wholly unknown ; but because God 
had revealed himself, as such, to them. The ideas of men in re- 
spect to God, which were at first very limited, became extended, 
in the progress of time, by events both ordinary and extraordina- 
ry. It is worthy of remark, that the figure anthropopathy was 
very prevalent at the early period, of which we are speaking, 
and that men used the same language in respect to God, which 
they employed when speaking of one another ; but there was truth, 
nevertheless, hidden under the garb of such expressions, Gen. 6: 6, 
7. 8: 21. 11: 5—7. 18: 10—21. 

The worship of God was very unconstrained, such as was 
prompted by conscience and approved by reason, and consisted 
chiefly in tythes and vows and prayers, in the erection of altars 
and in sacrifices, Gen. 4: 3, 4. 8: 20. 12: 7, 8. 13: 4, 18. 14: 20. 
15: 18—20. etc. 

With respect to the consecration of the sabbath, it may be ob- 
served, there is no trace of it, any further than this, viz. that a pe- 
riod of seven days occurs a number of times, Gen. 7: 4, 10. 8: 10, 
12 ; likewise the word yjarti , the Hebrew for week, Gen. 29: 27. 

It may be inferred from these circumstances, that the seventh 
day was distinguished in some way or other from other days, as is 



represented to be the case in Gen. 2: 2. Many traces of mor- 
al discipline occur, Gen. 4: 6— 16. 6:3—8. 11:4—6. 13:8. 14: 
14 — 24. 18: 19. We must not suppose, however, that nothing more 
of God, and of moral discipline, was known by these pious patriarchs, 
than is given in the historical fragments of Genesis. For those 
things only appear to have been selected for insertion, which, more 
than any others, had a tendency to prepare the way for the intro- 
duction of the Mosaic dispensation. 

§ 305. Respecting Moses. 

Very many of the Hebrews were addicted to the worship of 
the Egyptian gods, at the time that Moses was sent in the charac- 
ter of a divine messenger, to break the chains of their servitude, 
Exod. 3: 13. To rescue the Hebrews from their bondage, who 
were destined to be the defenders of the true religion, and to 
bring them back to that worship, which they had lost, while in 
Egypt, gave occasion for the most surprising miracles ; miracles, 
which not only compelled Pharaoh to dismiss the Hebrews, and 
brought destruction upon his army, when he pursued them ; but 
were also a new and overwhelming proof to the Hebrews them- 
selves, that there is indeed a Go d, all powerful and omniscient, and 
that Moses, by whom these wonderful works had been predicted 
and performed, was in truth his messenger, Exod. 6: 7. 7: 5. 9: 
14—16, 29. 10: 2. 14: 4, 17—18, 31. 16: 12. 19: 4, 9. Deut. 4: 
35, 39. It was at the same time shown by the miracles, of which 
we are speaking, that the Egyptian gods, being altogether unable 
to protect their votaries, were destitute of power, and, in a word, 
were nothing, Exod. 12: 12. But the Hebrews, after all, if they 
had not afterwards, when in Arabia, been confirmed by new mira- 
cles in the belief of the divine omniscience and omnipotence, 
would not have persevered in the worship of the true God, and 
would not have consented to receive those ceremonies and Laws, 
without which, surrounded as they were by nations, who regarded 
idolatry, as conformable to right reason, they could not have succeed- 
ed in maintaining their religious integrity. This is clear from the 
fact, that, after all the instructions they had received, and after all 
the laws, which were enacted, they went so often back to various 

382 § 306. opinions of moses in respect 

Note. Those, who attribute the miracles of Moses to leger- 
demain, and undertake to rank them in the same class with the 
tricks of jugglers, also those, who contend that the accounts of 
them are fabulous, and are to be placed on the same footing with 
the wonders of profane mythology, can neither reconcile the ground, 
which they take, with the departure of the Hebrews from Egypt, nor 
with their subsequent history, nor with the origin of the notion of a 
God, as it appears in their early writings. The exodus, the subse- 
quent history, and their ideas in respect to God, all bear testimony, 
that the miracles were actually performed. Compare the large Ger- 
man Edition of this work, P. III. § 12. note and § 13. 

§ 306. On the question, " whether Moses taught the exis- 
tence of a merely national God ?" 

That the God of Moses was something more than the tutelary 
or national God of the Hebrews, is clear from so many passages 
of scripture, it is wonderful, any should have adopted a contrary 
opinion. For he calls him by the name Jehovah, who created 
heaven and earth, Gen. I. Exod. 20: 8—12. 31: 17. Deut. 4: 23, 
and who sent the deluge, Gen. 6: 17. He is addressed by Abra- 
ham and Melchisedek as the most high, the Lord of heaven and 
earth, Gen. 14: 18—20. 17: 1. 18: 16—25. He is acknowledged 
by Joseph to be the all-wise governour of the universe. Gen. 39: 9. 
15: 5, 8. 50: 20. He calls himself Jehovah, who is always the 
same, Exod. 6: 3 ; who both predicted, and performed those won- 
derful works in Egypt and Arabia, which proved him to be omni- 
scient and omnipotent, Deut. 4: 32 — 36. 10: 21. Exod. 6: 7. 7: 5. 
10: 1, 2. 16: 12. 29: 46 ; who is the author of every living thing, 
Num. 16: 22. 27: 16; who is invisible, (for the descriptions, which 
represent him as appearing at times in a bodily form, are symbolic,) 
Exod. 33: 18—23. Deut. 4: 12—20, 39 ; who is the Lord of heaven 
and earth, and every thing in them, and the friend of strangers, as 
well as of the Hebrews, Deut. 10: 14 — 18. Besides him there is 
no other God, Deut. 4: 39. 6: 4. 32: 39. Moses every where ex- 
hibits him, as the omnipotent, the ruler of all men, who cannot be 
corrupted by gifts and sacrifices, but who is kind and merciful to the 
penitent. He teaches, that he is the true God, who is worthy of 
being honoured by the Hebrews, not only because He alone is 



God, but because he had promised great mercies to the Patriarchs 
and their posterity, and had already bestowed them in part ; be- 
cause He led them out of Egypt, had furnished them with laws, 
would soon introduce them into Canaan, and protect them through 
future ages ; finally, because they had chosen God for their king. 
The whole object of the Mosaic ritual was to preserve the wor- 
ship of God, as the creator and governour of all, till the time when 
the true religion should be made known to the rest of the world, 
for which grand end it had been originally committed to Abra- 
ham and his posterity, Gen. 17: 9 — 14. 18: 19. 

§ 307. On the question, " Whether the character of Jeho- 

That God is often represented by Moses, as a just judge, who 
punishes with no little severity those, who are wicked, is not at 
all to be wondered at. The inconstant, stiff-necked, and intracta- 
ble people, whom he had to deal with, could not be restrained 
from vices, nor be brought in subjection to the laws, without hold- 
ing up such a representation. Such a representation was the more 
necessary, because Jehovah was not only the God, but in a strict 
sense the king of the Jews ; on whom it fell, consequently, (in or- 
der to render due protection to the good,) to condemn transgres- 
sors, and to make them objects of punishment. Had it been other- 
wise, had he not defended the good from the attacks of the bad, or 
had pardon been given to the guilty, all his laws would have been 
in vain. Still, although what has now been said be true, the state- 
ment, which some have made, viz. that Moses has made God an 
inexorable Judge, and that only, is utterly false. 

The original promises to the Patriarchs, which were so often 
repeated to their descendants, the liberation from Egyptian servi- 
tude, the laws, enacted in the wilderness, the entrance, that was 
granted to the Hebrews into the land of Canaan, are deeds of 
kindness, which prove the beneficence of God, Deut. 7: 6 — 9. 8: 
2 — 20. 9: 4 — 8. 10: 1 — 11. Hence it is often inculcated upon the 
Hebrews to exhibit gratitude towards God; and the fact also, that 
they are expressly commanded to love God, is at least an implied ad- 
mission of his kindness and beneficence, Deut. 6: 4, 5. 11: 12, 15, 22. 


Moses calls God the father of his people, the merciful, the clement, 
the benign, the faithful Jehovah, who exhibits through a thousand 
generations the love of a parent to his good and faithful followers, 
who forgives iniquity and transgression, but to whose mercy, never- 
theless, there are limits, and who visits the sins of the fathers on the 
posterity to the third and fourth generation, Deut. 8: 5. 32: 6. 
Exod. 34: 6, 7. Num. 14: IS. Deut. 7: 9, 10. 

The infliction of punishments even to the fourth generation, 
(i. e. by means of public calamities, the consequences of which 
would be experienced even by posterity,) a principle, which 
makes its appearance even in the fundamental laws, Exod. 20: 
5, 6. has given offence to many, who are either unable or unwilling 
to perceive, that the prospect of misery falling on their posteri- 
ty, could be a real source of punishment to the parents, who, it 
may be observed, were in that age, particularly solicitous about the 
well-being of their descendants. We learn, nevertheless, from 
other places and other considerations, that the punishments, which 
were due to the fathers, were not so much designed to be inflicted 
in truth on their posterity, as to remain to them warnings, that if 
they trod in their fathers' footsteps, they would expose themselves 
to the same evil and fearful consequences, and that, when they 
had done evil, their only course was to repent. That such would 
be the case, the deep and serious evils of the Babylonish Cap- 
tivity gave them so clear a proof, as to preclude all subsequent 
doubts on the subjects ; they repented of their evil ways, and, 
as Moses himself had predicted, became at length the constant 
worshippers of God, Lev. 26: 20—25. Deut. 4: 28—31. 30: 1—10. 

§ 308. Respecting the Regulations, which were made in or- 
der to preserve the true Religion. 

That the Hebrews, who, while in Egypt, had to a great extent 
worshipped idols, and had with much difficulty, and not without 
the aid of striking miracles, been at length restored to the true 
worship, might thereafter remain firm, nor be easily led astray 
by the example of neighbouring nations, God offered himself 
to them, as their King. (See the two hundred and fourteenth 
section.) As such he was accepted ; and hence it happened, that 



the obedience, which they rendered him as king, became identified 
in a manner with the reverence, to which he had a right, as God, 
and that while they yielded the former, they would not be likely to 
withhold the latter. 

This theocratical feature in the form of the commonwealth, by 
means of which the people were so often reminded, that the laws 
of their King were no other than the laws of God, of course per- 
petually recalled the true God to their minds. The rigid obser- 
vation also of the sabbath, of the feast of Pentecost after the seven 
weeks of the harvest, of the seventh or sabbatic year, of the year 
of Jubilee after seven sabbatic years, were all of them symbolic ac- 
knowledgments of God, as the creator and governour of all things. 
The Passover likewise, and the feast of tabernacles vividly recall- 
ed to their memory the fact, that the creating God had been their 
deliverer from the Egyptians, and their guide through Arabia. 
And when on the feast of tabernacles and of Pentecost, they were 
called upon to render thanks for the fruits, they had received, they 
were taught, that these also were to be referred to the creating 
power and the goodness of God. 

That their minds might be accustomed to the fact of God's in- 
visibility, that they might have no disposition to attach any effica- 
cy to idols, and that all temptation to believe in a plurality of gods 
might be avoided, and images, which were intended as a bodily 
or visible representation of the divine Being, were absolutely pro- 
hibited. The erection of a Tabernacle alone was permitted; and 
to this there could clearly be no objection, since it did not admit 
of an apotheosis. But, in order to prevent any superstitious rites 
from introducing themselves into this sacred place, all the ceremo- 
nies were prescribed by law. It was commanded, that all the sa- 
crifices should be offered on one altar ; this, with the reciprocal 
inspection, that was exercised over each other by Priests and 
Levites, would have an influence to prevent the introduction of 
any practices, which might have a tendency to pave the way for 
idolatry. It was sedulously inculcated on parents, that, on every 
occasion, especially at the return of the national festivals, and 
when performing the ceremonies prescribed by the Law, they 
should instruct their children, both in the religion, and the history 
of their nation. From the fear, that their instructions might, 
through ignorance or from a failure of memory, be, in some re- 


spects, erroneous, provision was made, that the booh of the Law 
should be publicly read once every seven years in the Taberna- 
cle ; on which occasion, not only parents could correct the errours, 
which they might have cherished, but the children also could de- 
termine, whether the instructions they had received, were coinci- 
dent with the truth. 

To sum up what we have further to say in a word ; we observe 
that the names, which were applied to the supreme Being, viz. Je- 
hovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; that their 
residence in the land of Canaan, that one sacred tabernacle, one 
high priest, one family of priests, one tribe of Levites ; that even 
the tithes and sacrifices, the redemption of the first born, the sys- 
tem of impurities and purifications, and other things, which were 
prescribed in the Law, perpetually admonished the Hebrews, that 
God was the sole ruler of all things, even that God, who had 
brought them out from Egypt into the land of their present resi* 
dence, and had commanded all these things to be observed. 

Compare particularly Deut. 20: 1 — 11. and Exod. 10: 1, 2. 12: 
25—28. 13: 4—16. 

The Hebrews were commanded, moreover, to commit to memory 
the song recorded in the 32d of Deuteronomy, that it might be a 
perpetual monitor of their duty, and in case they failed in duty, of 
the consequences, which would follow. 

TUTIONS of Moses. 

When we remember that Moses prefixed to those instructions, 
and Laws, and the ritual, of which he may be considered espe- 
cially the author, the Book of Genesis, which is so abundant in 
instances of moral discipline, we shall be justified in expecting to 
find, that what has been termed " the Mosaic religion" will not be 
deficient in respect to its moral tendency. Our expectations are by 
no means disappointed. 

We are every where taught in the Laws of Moses, that God is 
the creator and governour of the universe, to whom all men owe 
obedience and gratitude. We find, moreover, that he in particu- 
lar teaches his countrymen, the Hebrews, that they were bound 
to devote themselves to God by obligations, which were multipli- 



ed and peculiar ; since they had received from him such distin- 
guished favours, and the promise of others at a future period, 
Exod. 20:2. Lev. 11: 45. 25: 38. Deut. 4: 32—40. 5: 24—26. 6: 
12, 13, 20—25. 7: 6—11. 8: J— 6, 10—18. 9: 4,5. 10: 12. ih 1. 
26: 1 — 10. 32: 6. They are, accordingly, commanded to love 
God, with all the heart and mind and strength, not only as the 
governour of the universe, and the benefactor, in numberless ways, 
of all mankind, but to love him also, as their own especial deliver- 
er and friend. And, as the result of such gratitude and love, they 
are required to obey his laws, and this in truth for the additional 
reason, that without such obedience, they would not deserve the 
kindness of God, and would not be in a situation to receive any 
further benefits from his hand, Deut. 6: 4, 5. 11: 1, 13, 14. 13: 4, 5. 

They are not only admonished to abstain from these kinds of 
food, which were reckoned unclean, but also to keep themselves 
free from moral defilements, and to be pure and holy even as God 
is holy, Lev. 11: 45. 20: 26. Deut. 14: 1, 2, 21. Lev. 19: 2. 20: 

They are taught to love their neighbour , as themselves, 
Lev. 19: 18 ; not only the Hebreio, but the stranger also, Lev. 19: 
33, 34. Exod. 22: 20, 21. 23: 9, 12. Num. 15: 14. Deut. 10: 18, 
19. 24: 17. 27: 19. 

Hatred and revenge are prohibited, Exod. 23: 4, 5. Lev. 19: 16 
—18. Deut. 23: 7, 8. comp. Job 31: 29—31. 

Cruelty and inhumanity to servants are guarded against, Exod. 
20: 10, 11. 21: 2—11, 20—26. Lev. 25: 39—53. Deut. 5: 14, 15. 
12: 18. 15: 12—15. 16: 11—14. 23: 15, 16. 25: 4. comp. Job 31: 
13 — 15. The exhibition of kindness to the poor likewise, to wi- 
dows, and orphans, is inculcated, Exod. 22: 25, 26. Lev. 19:9 — 13. 
23: 22. 25: 5, 6. Deut. 12: 5—7. 14: 22—24. 15: 7—15. 16: 10— 
12. 26: 11—15. 27: 19. 

As an incitement to deeds of kindness of this sort, the people 
are told to remember, that they themselves were of old strangers 
and servants in the land of the Egyptians ; an exhortation, which 
implies the knowledge and the admission of the duty of doing to 
others, what we wish done to ourselves, and of not inflicting on 
others, what we should ourselves be unwilling to suffer. It may 
be remarked, furthermore, that the Hebrews were forbidden to 


exercise cruelty to their animals, Exod. 20: 10, 11. 23: 11, 12. 34: 
26. Lev. 22: 28. 25: 7. Deut. 14: 21. 22: 6, 7, 10. 25: 4. 

The people are commanded not to curse the deaf, and not to 
cast an obstacle in the way of the blind, Lev. 19: 14. Deut. 27: 
18. They are forbidden to utter falsehoods, Exod. 23: 1 — 7; and 
are admonished not to go about among the people in the charac- 
ter of tale-bearers, as they will have done their duty, by informing 
the guilty persons of their faults in private, and only have made 
themselves partakers in their guilt, by giving to those faults an 
unnecessary publicity, Lev. 19: 16. 

They are not left at liberty to utter curses against those magis- 
trates, who, in their estimation, have been unfavourable to them, 
Exod. 22: 27, 28. 

They were commanded to avoid all fraud, as an abomination in 
the sight of God, Deut. 25: 13 — 16 ; when they have found any 
property, carefully to inquire out its owner, and restore it, Deut. 
22: 1,3; and to keep themselves guiltless not only of fornication, 
adultery, incest and bestiality, but of all impure concupiscence, 
which are great crimes in the sight of Jehovah, Lev. 18: 1 — 30. 
Deut. 23: 18, 19. 22: 5. Exod. 20: 7. 

The obedience, which was due to the civil laws, was urged 
on the ground, that they originated from that merciful and holy 
Being, who is the creator and the governour of all things, Lev. Hi 
44. 18: 3—5. 19: 10, 12, 14, 18, 25, 28, 30—32, 34, 37. 22: 3, 8, 30 
— 33. 23: 22, 43. 25: 17, etc. Moses, accordingly, in reference to 
this subject, viz. obedience to the civil laws, never fails to re- 
mind the people of their divine origin, and teaches them, that, 
unless those laws are observed, as religious, as well as civil insti- 
tutions, it will be of no avail. Consult particularly the passages, 
which follow, and which are worthy of a repeated perusal, Deut. 4: 
i_40. 5: 1—6, 25. 8: 1—19. 10: 12. 11: 1. 29: 1. 30: 20. 

Numerous sacrifices were insisted on, not, in truth, for any sup- 
posed worthiness in the sacrifices themselves, but, because they 
were an indication of a grateful mind, because they present- 
ed a symbolick representation of the punishment due to trans- 
gressors, and uttered, as it were, an impressive admonition, 
that all sins were to be avoided. Sacrifices, accordingly, and 
other ceremonies are never esteemed, in themselves considered, 
of much consequence. On the contrary, it is expressly said, that 



God does not have respect to gifts and offerings, and that vows 
are not necessary, Deut. 10: 17. 23: 22, 23. A person who had 
made a vow, could free himself from the performance of it, by* 
paying a certain amount, to be estimated by the priest, and, fur- 
thermore, the power was lodged in the master of a family of mak- 
ing void the vows of his wives and daughters, Lev. 27: 1 — 33. Num. 
30: 2—14. 

Particular/brms of words, to be used in prayer, are not found 
among the instructions of Moses, [and the probable reason of it, 
as represented in the original German, is, that such forms of words 
would have been too near an approach to the superstitious forms 
employed in charms, and incantations among the neighbouring 
idolatrous nations, and might have led to unpropitious consequen- 
ces.] Still there is what may be considered in some respects an 
exception to this statement, for we find a form of words prescrib- 
ed for the benediction in Num. 6: 24 — 26. and also for the return of 
thanks in Deut. 26: 1 — 10, 13—15. 

Promises of temporal good, and threats of temporal evil were 
necessary in an age, in which the knowledge of a future life was 
limited and obscure. But they are no more obstacles to moral 
discipline and instruction, than like threats and promises are, at 
the present day, to the moral education of our offspring. Fur- 
thermore, the threats and promises, of which we speak, may be con- 
sidered, as addressed to the Jews, as a people, rather than as indi- 
viduals, and, in this way, as making apart of the civil polity; and, 
after all, they are in themselves an evidence that God approves 
what is moral, and condemns what is immoral and corrupt, and it is 
in this way, that he governs the universe. 

The religion of Moses, therefore, had a good moral tendency ; 
it disciplined many men, whose characters, for their moral eleva- 
tion and worth, are fit subjects of admiration. If it had defects, 
let us have the candour to acknowledge, that they are to be attrib- 
uted in a measure to the circumstances of the times, and the grat- 
itude to confess, that its deficiencies have been amply supplied by 
the gospel of Jesus Christ. 



§ 310. Of the Question, " Whether there are Types in the 
Laws of Moses t" 

That there are historical and moral types in the Laws of Moses, 
is evident from the Passover, and from the feast of tabernacles, 
Exod. 12: 1—13, 16. Lev. 23: 4, 8. Deut. 16: 1—8; also from the 
rite of circumcision, and the gold mitre of the high priest, for a typ- 
ical import is expressly assigned to these last by Moses himself. 
Consult Exod. 28: 38, and Deut. 10: 16. 30: 6. 

But whether there are to be found in the writings of Moses 
what are termed prophetical types, has been a subject of very great 
contention. We see in the discussions, which have arisen upon 
this subject, the tendency, which there is in men to rush from 
one extreme to another ; and because types of this kind were 
formerly too much multiplied, the wisdom of these latter days has 
taken upon itself boldly to deny the existence of any such types at 

One thing, however, seems to be certain, that the whole Mo- 
saic discipline, taken in connexion with the promises made to the 
patriarchs, was not only introduced to preserve and transmit the 
true religion, but implied and intimated something better to come. 
Those better times were not hidden from the sight of the proph- 
ets, and, in age after age, and with much frequency, they predict- 
ed them in their poetry. But express, and insulated types of Christ, 
or of the Christian Church, known to be such by the ancient He- 
breios, do not appear to be found in the Laws of Moses. Still it is 
a question worthy of further investigation, than has hitherto been 
bestowed upon it, Whether God, through the instrumentality of Mo- 
ses, did not so order certain events and ceremonies, that they 
should be discovered to be typical at the coming of Christ, and in 
this way facilitate the conversion of the Jews to the Christian sys- 
tem ? Compare my Hermeneuticam gencralem Veteris et Novi Foe- 
deris, § 15, 16. p. 43—48. 

Note. [As the subject of the types of the Old Testament is 
one, which has not failed to interest, to a considerable degree, the 
feelings of many in this country, I take it for granted, that it will 
not be deemed out of place, to subjoin to this section the opinions 


of the translator of Ernesti's Elements of Interpretation. The re- 
marks, to which I refer, may be found in a note to the twenty-fifth 
section of that publication, and are, as follows. 

"If it be asked, How far are we to consider the Old Testa- 
ment as typical? I should answer without any hesitation; Just so 
much of it is to be regarded as typical, as the New Testament 
affirms to be so ; and no more. The fact, that any thing or event 
under the Old Testament dispensation was designed to prefigure 
something under the New, can be known to us only by revelation ; 
and, of course, all that is not designated by divine authority as ty- 
pical, can never be made so by any authority less than that, which 
guided the writers of the Scriptures."] 

§ 311. Sketch of Religion from Moses till after the Baby- 
lonish Captivity. 

The institutions of Moses retained their influence through sub- 
sequent ages. Whenever religion was endangered, by neglect or by 
idolatry, the invariable consequence was, that there were calamities 
and evils, which admonished the people of the necessity of choos- 
ing rulers, who should restore to them both the full operation of 
their religion, and their prosperity, as a nation. In case God did 
not send upon them, in the first instance, public calamities, he 
commissioned his prophets, who severely reproved kings and 
princes, threw great obstacles in the way of their wicked attempts 
to introduce idolatry, and when it was introduced, had the happi- 
ness of seeing, in some cases, pious kings raised up, as the succes- 
sors of the impious, who rescinded what their predecessors had 
done, removed idolatry, and restored again the true worship of 

When at length admonitions ceased to be of any great avail, 
and every thing was growing worse and worse, the Israelitish com- 
monwealth was overthrown, 253 years after their separation from 
Judah, and 722 before Christ. The people were carried away 
by the Assyrians into Gozan, Chalacene, the cities of Media, and 
into Assyria. 

The kingdom of Judah was overthrown 387 years after the 
separation, 588 before Christ, by the Chaldeans, and the people 
were carried captive to the banks of the river Cheber in Babylonia. 


Ill these events, were fulfilled the predictions both of Moses and 
the Prophets. 

The difference in the condition of the Hebrews under the 
Judges, who ruled four hundred and fifty years, and under the 
Kings, consisted in this, that under the former, idolatry was not 
commanded, but the people rushed into it of their own accord. 
Wherefore the contamination never extended so far, as to reach 
the Tabernacle. On the contrary, those kings, who were impious, 
either expressly commanded the worship of idols, or promoted it 
in some way by their authority ; so that its pernicious influence 
penetrated even to the Temple itself. 

The most impious, in the kingdom of Judali, were Ahaz and 
Manasseh, who immolated their sons to Moloch; and the former of 
whom shut up the Temple. In the kingdom of Israel, Ahab with 
his Zidonian wife, Jezebel, surpassed all others in wickedness. 

During the period immediately preceding their overthrow, 
every kind of superstition, and every moral pollution prevailed in 
both kingdoms, especially in that of Judah. No other means, 
therefore, remained, to correct their vices, but that of extreme 
severity, by which the whole nation, dispersed from their country 
into distant regions, and humbled and afflicted, might learn, that 
they could do nothing without God, and that idols could lend them 
no assistance. 

When at length the Return, predicted by Moses and the proph- 
ets, was unexpectedly secured by the instrumentality of Cyrus, 
and the Temple and city rebuilt, the people being convinced by 
the fulfilment of so many, and such distinguished prophecies, that 
God is the omnipotent and omniscient governour of the uni- 
verse, and that all idols are a vanity, continued firm to Jehovah ev- 
er after. So much so, that they opposed the commands, and set at 
defiance the punishments of Antiochus Epiphanes, endured every 
suffering, seized their arms, in vindication of their liberty and re- 
ligion, and brought over other nations also to the worship of their 
fathers. The rest of the Jews, who were widely dispersed both 
in the East and the West, made proselytes every where, and it 
became known to the other nations, that there was a people, who 
worshipped one invisible God, the creator and governour of the 

The Jews supposed at this time, that the age was approach- 


ing, when the true religion, should be propagated to all nations, 
as had been promised to the patriarchs and predicted by the pro- 

Their condition as a nation, it is true, through the discord of 
the rulers, grew worse, than it had been previously, and every 
thing threatened ruin. That which was promised, notwithstand- 
ing, was performed by Jesus and the apostles, and their religion, in 
subsequent ages, has been propagated even to us ; a grand fulfil- 
ment of what was predicted to the patriarchs four thousand years 

§ 312. Perseverance op the Hebrews in their Religion after 
the Captivity. 

The perseverance of the Hebrews after the captivity, in their 
religion, to which we have already alluded, was the result chiefly of 
the fulfilment of the prophecies, respecting the overthrow of the 
kingdoms of Israel, Judah, Assyria, and Chaldea, and respecting the 
return from captivity ; as is clear from Zech. 1: 2 — 6. Ezra 9: 7 — 
15. Neh. 9: 32—37. 13: 17, 18. The punishment of a long exile, 
which the foreign gods, they worshipped, could not avert, and their 
return, which was effected by the Providence of God alone, without 
any co-operation on the part of the people, excited their minds, al- 
ready softened by the concurrence of so many afflictions, to renew- 
ed reflection on these, and on other events, equally striking and 
more ancient, especially on the mercies of God. 

In order to keep the memory of the past fresh and living in their 
minds, they built synagogues, in which the Law of Moses was read 
every sabbath day. And not long after, other sacred books were 
read likewise, especially the prophets ; prayers were also offered ; sa- 
cred hymns were sung ; and the people were exhorted to a moral 
and religious course. 

Schools also were established, in which the rising generation 
were instructed more carefully in the truths of religion, than they 
could be by their parents. 

The similitude, which existed between the system of Moses, 
and that of Zoroaster, which prevailed in Persia and Media, may be 
summed up in a single article, viz. that they both discountenanced 
the worship of idols. For, 



I. That original beginning of all things, called Hazaruam, was 
neither the creator nor governour of the world, but the endless suc- 
cession of time, which was represented by Zoroaster, as the su- 
preme existence, ens, or fountain of being. From Hazaruam, 
proceeded Ormuz and Ahrimanes. Ormuz acted the part of crea- 
tor of the world, ; a circumstance, which caused no little envy in 
the mind of Ahrimanes, and induced him to mingle with the work- 
manship of Ormuz, the seeds or principles of evil, which exist. 
By the Mehestani, moreover, or followers of Zoroaster, not only 
Ormuz, but six Amschaspandi, also innumerable spirits, dispersed 
every where, the sun, moon, and stars, and other earthly existences, 
were worshipped without distinction. 

II. If the example of the Medes and Persians, who worship- 
ped Ormuz, as the creator and governour of the world, confirm- 
ed the Hebrews in the worship of Jehovah, it was equally likely, 
on the other hand, to induce them to adore the stars, and spirits, 
which occupied so conspicuous a place in the system of those na- 
tions ; also the horses and chariot of the sun, which the ancestors 
of king Josiah, influenced by the example of the Mehestani, had 
introduced at Jerusalem, and perhaps, to practise that species of 
Magian worship, witnessed by Ezekiel in the temple of Jerusa- 

III. The Jews, if they had been excited, by the example alone of 
their conquerors, to perseverance in their religion, would not cer- 
tainly have continued their adherence to it after the overthrow of 
the Persians, when they were under the dominion of the idolatrous 
Greeks ; a period, in which, though exposed to the hostility of 
Antiochus Epiphanes, they gave ample proofs of their integrity. 

The assertion, that the Jews adhered to the religion of their 
ancestors, because they had learnt the knowledge of the true God 
from philosophical principles, is opposed, 

I. By the representations of the books, which remain of that 
period. For it is evident from Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra, Nehemi- 
ah, and Malachi, also from the apocryphal books of Wisdom and 
Ecclesiasticus, that the prevalent belief was founded on ancient 
history, especially on ancient miracles, and the fulfilment of the 

II. Moreover, the firm persuasion, which existed, would not 
have arisen from any philosophical speculations about the being 



of God, if it / had not existed in a previous period, since, in the 
Psalms, and the writings of the Prophets, were many arguments, 
drawn from the nature of things, to show the doctrine of the true 
God, and the vanity of idols. 

III. To overturn at once this unfounded supposition, it is suffi- 
cient to say, that the men, who are best instructed in Grecian phi- 
losophy, endeavoured to bring back idolatry again. But on points 
connected with this subject, something further is to be said. 

§ 313. Respecting the Knowledge of God before the time of 
Christ, as developed by Philosophy. 

Not a single philosopher had any idea of a God of such an exal- 
ted character, as to be the agent in the construction of the Uni- 
verse, till Anaxagoras, the disciple of Hermotimus. This philoso- 
pher came to Athens in the year 456 before Christ, and first taught, 
that the world was organized or constructed by some mind or men- 
tal being, out of matter, which this philosopher supposed, had al- 
ways existed. Socrates, Plato, and others adopted, illustrated, and 
adorned this opinion. 

Aristotle, on the contrary, supposed --the world to have existed 
in its organized form eternally, and that the supreme being, who 
was coexistent, merely put it in motion. 

The Epicureans believed a fortuitous concurrence of atoms to 
have been the origin of all things. Many were atheists ; many were 
sceptics, who doubted and assailed every system of opinions. 

Those, who maintained the existence of a framer or architect 
of the world, (for no one believed in a creator of it,) held also to 
an animating principle in matter, which originated from the su- 
preme architect, and which animated, and regulated the material 

Things of minor consequence, especially those, which touched 
the destiny of man, were referred by all classes, to the govern- 
ment of the gods, who were accordingly the objects of worship, 
and not the supreme architect. Paul gives a sufficiently favour- 
able representation of this defective knowledge of God, Rom. 1: 
19 — 24. After all, it may be made an inquiry, whether Anaxago- 
ras or Hermotimus had not learnt some things respecting the God 
of the Jews from those Jews, who were sold as slaves by the 

396 § 314. condition or man after death. 

Phenicians into Greece, Joel 3: 6, or from the Phenicians them- 
selves, who traded in Ionia and Greece, and whether these philoso- 
phers did not thus acquire that knowledge, which was thought to 
have originated with themselves. Perhaps, they derived their no- 
tions of an eternal architect from the doctrine of the Persians 
respecting Hazaruam or the endless succession of time, and Ormuz. 
However this may be, we observe on this topic, 

I. That the Hebrews remained firm to their religion before 
their acquaintance with Grecian philosophy, although many receded 
from it, after forming such an acquaintance. 

II. The philosophic doctrine respecting the architect of the 
world, rested on arguments of so subtile a kind, that they could not 
have been estimated by the Jewish populace, and could not have 
been applied by them, to confirm their minds in religious truth. 
For, according to Cicero, de Nat. Deorum, Lib. I. 6. such was 
the contention, even among the learned, in respect to the doctrine of 
the gods, that those, who had the most strength and confidence on 
their side were compelled to doubt. 

The books of Cicero, de Natura Deorum are by all means to 
be read. 

§ 314. On the Condition of Man after Death. 

That the ancient Hebrews, that the Patriarchs themselves had 
some idea of a future life, although we must acknowledge their 
information on the subject to have been limited and obscure, is evi- 

I. From the distinction, which is made between the subterrane- 
an residence denominated Sheol, ^Ktti and ^13, and the grave or 
place of interment for the body, denominated lip. Gen. 25: 8. 37: 
35. 49: 33. 50: 2—10. Num. 20: 24—26. Deut. 34: 7. 31: 16. 1 
K. 11:43. 

II. That they believed in the existence of the spirit after the 
death of the body, is evident likewise from the credit, which they 
were disposed to give to the art of necromancy, by means of which 
the Jews believed, that the spirits of the dead, niaifi* , iifct, "^b^T , 
were summoned back to the present scene of existence, Lev. 19: 
31. 20:6,7,26,27. Deut. 18: 11. 1 Sam. 28: 3— 10. 2 K. 23: 
24. 1 Chron. 10: 13. Is. 19: 3. 29:4. 57:9. comp. Zech. 13:2—6. 



The objection, which is sometimes made, viz. that persons, 
whose minds are under the influence of superstition, are very in- 
consistent with themselves and in their opinions, does not avail 
any thing in the present case, for it would in truth be a miracle 
of inconsistency, if those persons, who believed, that departed 
spirits were no longer existing, should, nevertheless, give full 
credit to the ability of such non-existent spirits, to reveal the mys- 
teries of the future. 

The belief of the ancient Hebrews, therefore, on this subject, 
was, that the spirits of the dead were received into Sheol, which 
is represented, as a large subterranean abode, Gen. 37: 35. comp. 
Num. 16: 30—33. Deut. 32: 22. Into this abode, we are told, that 
the wicked are driven suddenly, their days being cut short, but 
the good descend into it in tranquillity, and in the fullness of their 

This very spacious dwelling-place for those, who have gone 
hence, is often described as dark, as sorrowful, and inactive, Job 
10: 21. Ps. 6: 5. 88: 11, 12. 115: 17. Is. 38: 18 ; but in Is. 14: 9, 
et seq. it is represented, as full of activity ; and in other places, 
as we may learn from Job 26: 5, 6. and 1 Sam. 28: 7, more than 
human knowledge is ascribed to its inhabitants, which is indeed 
implied in the credit, which was given to necromancers. In this 
abode, moreover, the departed spirits rejoice in that rest, so much 
desired by the orientals, Job 3: 13 ; and there the living hope to 
see once more their beloved ancestors and children, Gen. 37: 35. 
comp. Gen. 25: 10. 35: 28. 49: 29. Num. 20: 24—26. 1 K. 2: 10, 
11. etc ; and there also the servant is at length freed from his mas- 
ter, and enjoys a cessation from his labours, Job 3: 13 — 19. 

That the ancient Hebrews believed, that there was a differ- 
ence, in their situation in Sheol, between the good and the bad, 
although it might indeed be inferred from their ideas of the jus- 
tice and benignity of God, (Matt. 22: 32.) cannot be proved by di- 
rect testimony. The probability, however, that this was the 
case, seems to be increased, when it is remembered, that the au- 
thor of the book of Ecclesiastes, who, in chapter 3: 18. speaks 
somewhat sceptically of the immortality of the soul, says in chap- 
ter 12: 7, that the " spirit shall return to God, who gave it," [and, 
although he no where in express terms holds up the doctrine of fu- 
ture rewards and punishments, informs us in chap. 12: 14. of some- 


thing very much like it, viz. " That God shall bring every work in- 
to judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil"] 

We have not authority, therefore, decidedly to say, that any 
other motives were held out to the ancient Hebrews to pur- 
sue the good and to avoid the evil, than those, which were deriv- 
ed from the rewards and punishments of this life. That these 
were the motives, which were presented to their minds in order 
to influence them to pursue a right course of conduct, is express- 
ly asserted in Is. 26: 9, 10. and may be learnt also from the im- 
precations, which are met with, in many parts of the Old Testa- 

The Mehestani, who were disciples of Zoroaster, believed in 
the immortality of the soul, in rewards and punishments after 
death, and in the resurrection of the body ; at the time of which 
resurrection, all the bad would be purged by fire, and associated 
with the good, Zend Avesta, P. I. p. 107, 108. P. II. p. 211. 227. 
229. 124, 125. 173. 245, 246. comp. Ezek. 37: 1—14. 

There is some uncertainty respecting the passages in Daniel 
12: 2, 3, 13 ; but it is possible at any rate, that they may be a con- 
firmation of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and it 
is very clear, that Haggai (2: 23.) speaks of some state of glory 
after the termination of this present life. Compare Zech. 3: 7. 
These sentiments of the later prophets, which are perfectly in uni- 
son with what is said of the justice and clemency of God, in other 
parts of the Old Testament, were at length adopted by the Jews 
generally with the exception of the Sadducees, against whom they 
are defended in the following passages of the Apocryphal Books, viz. 
2 Mace. 7: 9, 11, 14, 23, 29, 36. 12: 40—45. and Wisdom 3: 1— 
11. 4: 7—16. 

Thus the Jews were gradually prepared to receive that broader 
and fuller light, which Jesus shed upon them, 2 Tim. 1: 10. 

§ 315. Respecting the Propagation of Judaism. 


The Jews, during the four centuries preceding the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, were very extensively dispersed, and they did 
not fail to make proselytes to Judaism, in all the places, where it 
was their fortune to reside. The persecutions of Antiochus Epi- 
phanes promoted the cause of proselytism ; for those persecutions, 


under the good providence of God, were the occasion of many 
victories to the Jews, and excited, at the same time, the interest 
and notice of the surrounding nations. In consequence of the stand, 
which the Jews then took, and the victories which they won, 
whole nations, as the Idumeans, the Itureans, and Moabites, pro- 
fessed the Jewish faith, and underwent the initiatory rite of cir- 
cumcision. The king of Yaman or Yemen, a district of country 
in Arabia Felix, became a Jew, more than an hundred years be- 
fore Christ, and his successors both defended and propagated the 
Jewish religion. 

The Jews in Asia Minor, in Greece, and, in the progress of 
time, at Rome also, were the means of drawing numbers within 
the pale of their country's religion. In Rome, in particular, they 
eventually became so numerous, as to have a majority at elections ; 
and because they were restless and turbulent, they were ordered 
by Tiberius, to depart from Italy, and by Claudius, from Rome. 
These orders, however, in respect to them, were not fully put in 
execution, Tacitus, Annal. II. 85. Suetonius in Tiberio, § 36. et in 
Claudio § 25. Dio Cassius 4. 60. p. 669. 

Ample privileges were in general given to the Jews by the 
Romans, and the obstacles were mostly removed, which might have 
had a tendency to prevent the increase of their numbers by the ac- 
cession of proselytes. In this state of things, proselytes, especially 
from the female sex, who were not subjected to the inconveniences 
of circumcision, were perpetually multiplied, and are often mentioned 
in the New Testament. See Acts 2: 11. 6: 5. 13: 43. 16: 14. 17: 
4. 18: 7, 13. 19: 29. 13: 50. Josephus, Jewish War, II. 20, and 
Antiquities XVIII. 3, 5. 

About the time of Christ, Izates the king of Adiabene, hav- 
ing been instructed by some females, was circumcised, and intro- 
duced the Jewish religion into his kingdom. See the Antiquities 
of Josephus, XX. 2, 1 — 5. Providence thus prepared the way for 
the propagation of the Christian religion into all parts of the 
world : for the Apostles, wherever they travelled, found those, 
who had embraced the Jewish religion, and they not only had the 
liberty to preach in their synagogues, but, as we may learn from 
various passages, were very essentially aided by the Jewish pros- 
elytes, in announcing Jesus Christ to the heathen, Acts 2: 5 — 11. 
11: 19. 13: 4—6, 13—52. 14: 1—28. 16: 1—40. 12: 1—17, etc. 



§ 316. General State of Jewish Affairs. 

The Jews, wherever they dwelt, lived in a measure separate 
from the rest of the community, but they were extremely harmo- 
nious among themselves. Indeed those, who lived in countries, 
that were separate and distant, still maintained a connexion, with 
each other, by means of the Temple at Jerusalem. For every in- 
dividual was in the habit of sending to it yearly a half shekel in 
money ; those, who were able to, visited it in person, in order to at- 
tend the great festivals, and those, who were not in a condition to 
do this, transmitted gifts, either for the Temple, or to be employed 
in the sacrifices, by the hands of others. 

The Jews of Egypt, who inhabited Leontopolis in the district 
of Heliopolis, from the year 149 before Christ to Anno Domini 73, 
had a temple of their own, though they still kept up a connexion 
with the Jews at Jerusalem. Nor was this general harmony in 
the least interrupted by the existence of the three prominent sects, 
which, influenced by their philosophical systems, differed so 
much in their interpretation of the Scriptures. When we speak 
of their interpretation, and, consequently, belief being influenced 
by their philosophy, the meaning is obvious ; for Josephus, (Antiq. 
XV. 10, 4.) informs us that the Pharisees approximated very near 
to the Stoics, the Sadducees to the Epicureans, and the Essenes to 
the Pythagoreans. 

The Pharisees cultivated a very friendly intercourse with 
each other, and, as they were the favourites of the people, and 
generally secured to their party the influence of females of high 
rank, they were very powerful. As is too apt to be the case, 
where there is power, they became audacious, were inclined to 
make disturbances, and were in truth formidable to the high priests, 
and to the kings themselves, Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 10, 5 — 
6. XVII. 2, 4. XVIII. 1. 3. The minor divisions, which eventual- 
ly introduced themselves into this sect, and ranked its members, as 
the followers, some of Shammai, some of Hillel, and others at length 
of Judas of Galilee, did not interrupt the exercise of general har- 
mony and good feeling. 

The sect of the Sadducees in general consisted of those only, 
who were wealthy, and honourable. When, however, it was 


their fortune to sustain any public offices, they found themselves 
under the necessity of conforming to the sentiments of the Phari- 
sees, for, otherwise, they would not have been tolerated by the peo- 
ple, Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 10, 6. XVIII. 1, 3, 4. 

The Essenes were a sect, who were very closely linked togeth- 
er, and constituted what may be termed an order of monks. The 
members of this sect not only lived in Egypt, and in other coun- 
tries ; but nearly four thousand of them resided in Palestine itself, 
particularly on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Consult Jose- 
phus' Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII. 1, 5, and Pliny's Natural 
History, Bk. V. ch. 17. 

§ 317. On the Antiquity of these sects. 

It is remarked by Josephus, (Antiquities XIII. 10, 5 — 6) that 
John Hyrcanus went over from the Pharisees to the Sadducees, 
and thereby created much trouble to his family. This happened, 
when he was young, i. e. about the year 150 before Christ ; of 
course both of these sects were not only in existence, but, it may 
reasonably be inferred, had secured no little notoriety, as far back 
as that period. 

Furthermore ; Josephus expressly says, (Antiquities XIII. 5, 9.) 
that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes existed, as separate 
sects, at the time, when Jonathan was prince, i. e. between 159 
and 144 before Christ ; that they were flourishing at that period, 
and were even then, as he remarks, ix zov navv ctg%aiov. It is 
true, they are not mentioned in the book of Maccabees, but it is 
clear from the passage in Josephus just referred to, that they ex- 
isted in the time of those princes. Some, however, suppose, that 
the Pharisees are meant to be designated by the word uotdouoig, 
t^T&t? > tne pious, which occurs in 1 Mace. 2: 42. 7: 13. also in 
2 Mace. 14: 6. and that this sect are there called the pious, from 
the circumstance of their being desirous to do more, than the Law 
required ; while on the contrary, other persons, (among whom are 
to be reckoned the Sadducees,) who were willing to be satisfied 
with adhering to the letter of the Law, and with doing as much 
and no more, than it demanded, were denominated d^'^ the just. 
That these sects, the Sadducees and Pharisees, were nearly simul- 
taneous in their origin, there is hardly room to doubt ; but the 


precise time of their origin is to be referred, at any rate, to a period, 
anteriour to the days of the Maccabees. 

It is further to be added, that the aoidaioi, Assideans, men- 
tioned in 1 Mace. 2: 42. are said to have been those, ixovaia- 
£optvoi ro) vofAO) rninb 312*?E -S, who voluntarily fought for 
their religion ; and, furthermore, the Jewish soldiers in general, 
in 2 Mace. 14: 6. are denominated aoidaioi. Josephus likewise 
(Antiquities, XII. 10, 3.) does not call the aoidaioi Pharisees, 
but ayw&ovg xai, oaiovg tov t&vovq, the good and pious of the peo- 

The circumstance, which is stated in Pirke Aboth, viz. that 
Zaddok and Baithos, disciples of Antigonus Sochaeus, were the 
founders of the sect of the Sadducees, is not of so much weight, in 
as much as nothing of the kind is mentioned in Josephus. It 
seems to be the fact, nevertheless, that both Sadducees and Phari- 
sees had their origin about the time of Antigonus Sochaeus, who 
was the disciple of Simon the Just, i. e. about the beginning or mid- 
dle of the third century before Christ. 

In respect to the Essenes, it appears, both from their mode of 
life, and from the great numbers, who resided in that country, that 
they had their origin in Egypt. Philo likewise, in his treatise 
(de vita contempl.) expresses himself in such a way, as to afford 
evidence, that this was the fact. He indeed makes a distinction 
between the Essenes or Esseans, iODtt , and Therapeutae, fcgemev- 
tcm, but it is only in some minute particulars of small consequence. 
Both names signify physicians, for the members of this sect pro- 
fessed not only the healing of the body, but of the mind. 

§ 318. On the Doctrine of the Pharisees. 

The Pharisees boasted, that they were peculiarly acceptable 
to God, on account of their accurate knowledge of the Jewish Law 
and religion, Josephus, Antiquities, XVII. 2, 4. Jewish War, II. 
8, 14. Luke 11: 52. 18: 11. 

We shall give a short account of their opinions, as far as they 
are mentioned or alluded to in the New Testament. 

I. They agreed with the Stoics in teaching the doctrine of 
fate, or an immutable order of things, fixed by the decree of God. 
Perhaps it may be more agreeable to some, if we should denomi- 



nate their opinions in this respect the doctrine of divine Providence, 
i. e. that oversight in the Supreme Being, which rules and co-ope- 
rates with all events in such a manner, as to prevent at least their 
being left entirely dependent on the will of man : since the ac- 
tions of man himself are dependent on the eternal purpose of God, 
Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 5, 9. XVIII. 1, 3, Jewish War, II. 8, 
14. Acts 5: 38, 39. 

II. They taught, that the souls of men were immortal, and dwelt, 
after the present life, in some subterranean abode, (sheol.) — 
They further taught, that the spirits of the wicked were torment- 
ed with everlasting punishments, and that they at times made 
their reappearance upon the earth to vex men with epilepsy, men- 
tal derangement, madness, and melancholy ; that the good, on the 
other hand, received rewards, and at length passed into other hu- 
man bodies, Antiquities, XVIII. 1, 3. Jewish War, 1% 8, 14. III. 
8, 5. Matt. 14: 2. 16: 14. John 9: 2, 34. 

It is no where remarked by Josephus, that they believed in the 
resurrection of the dead, but that they, nevertheless, held to such 
a belief, is clear from the New Testament. Consult Matt. 22: 24 
—34. Mark 12: 18—23. Luke 20: 27—36. John 11: 24. 2 Mace. 
7: 9—11, 14, 23, 29, 36. 12: 40—45. 

III. The Pharisees believed in, and taught the existence of 
angels, both good and bad. The angel, that held the highest rank 
among the latter class, they believed, to have been uncreated. 
The name of this angel, at least as it occurs in the more recent 
Jewish writings, is that of Mittatron. The highest in rank 
among the former class, or the prince of bad angels, received vari- 
ous names, and was called the devil, Samael, Ashmedai or the 
tempter, a liar and homicide from the beginning, the old serpent, 
the prince of this world, who accuses men before God and de- 
mands their destruction, Matt. 4: 3. Luke 4: 2. John 8: 44. 14: 30. 
Rev. 12: 9. 20: 2. Heb. 2: 14. They believed, that angels were 
the ministers or agents of the divine Being on the earth, and that 
some one of them was assigned, not only to every kingdom, but to 
every individual, and at times made his appearance, Matt. 18: 10. 
Luke 4: 10. Heb. 2: 5. Acts 12: 15. 23: 8, 9. 

IV. They believed, furthermore, that God was under obliga- 
tion, and bound in justice, to bestow favours upon the Jews, to 
render them partakers of the kingdom of the Messiah, to justify, 


and to render them eternally happy ; and that He could not con- 
demn any of them. The ground of justification in the case of the 
Jews, they alleged to be the merits of Abraham, the knowledge of 
God which existed among them, circumcision, and the offering of 
sacrifices, Josephus, Antiquities, XVII. 2, 4. Jewish War, II. 8, 4. 
Justin's Dialogue icith Trypho, Pirke Aboth, Rom. i — xi. Heb. 
10: 1—18. 

§ 319. Defects in the Moral Principles and Practice of the 


The pharisees professed to aim at the strictest moral integrity 
in their conduct ; but the principles, by which their conduct was 
guided in this respect, were in a great degree, both lax and errone- 
ous. For instance, 

I. They considered many things, which, in order to prevent 
greater evils, had been admitted to hold a place in the civil Laws 
of Moses, to be for that reason, morally right ; for instance, the 
laio of retaliation, (jus talionis,) and the divorce of a wife, for any 
cause whatever, Matt. 5: 31. et seq. 19: 3. et seq. 

II. In some instances, they adhered too closely to the letter of 
the Mosaic Laws, and further perverted their spirit by accommo- 
dating them to their own philosophy. Thus, according to the 
construction, which they put upon the Law in respect to loving 
one's neighbour, they were bound to love their neighbour merely, 
and considered themselves at liberty to exercise hatred towards 
their enemies, Matt. 5: 43. Luke 10: 33. They maintained, that 
the oath, in which God was not expressly named, was not binding, 
or, at least, esteemed it but of little consequence, Matt. 5: 33. On 
the Sabbath, they forbade the gathering of a few ears of corn, 
healing the sick, &,c. Matt. 12: 1. et seq. Luke 6: 6. et seq. 14: 1. 
et seq. 

III. They attached but little importance to those natural Laws 
which Moses had not enforced by a penalty, and gave a decided 
preference to the ceremonial Laws, as if the latter were great and 
weighty commands, Matt. 5: 19. 22: 34. 15: 4. 

They esteemed anger without any adequate cause, and likewise 
the exercise of impure affections, matters of but very little moment, 
Matt. 5:21,22, 27—30. 


They were anxious to make proselytes, but they cared more 
about merely enrolling them in their number, than about making 
them better men, Matt. 23: 15. Avaricious and devoted to the 
pleasures of the world, they resorted to any measures, whether 
just or unjust, to procure riches, Matt. 5: 1 — 12. 23: 4. James 2: 1 
—8. Luke 16: 14, Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 3: 4, 5. They 
were so desirous of vain glory, and so impressed with the idea of 
their own personal sanctity, that they uttered their prayers pub- 
licly, in the sight of all men, Matt. 6: 2, 5. Luke 18: 11. They 
took a pride in ornamenting the tombs of the prophets, Matt. 
23: 29. 

§ 320. On the Traditions of the Pharisees. 

The Pharisees observed a multitude of traditions, i. e. un- 
written ordinances, which originated with their ancestors, and 
some of them indeed, as they maintained, with Moses himself. 
They not only placed these traditions on an equality with the 
Laws, which were acknowledged to be divine, but even esteemed 
them of still higher importance, Matt. 15:2,3,6. Mark 7: 3— 13. 
Talmud, Rosh Hashchana, p. 19, 1. Zebachim, p. 101, 1. Jose- 
phus, Antiquities, XIII. 10, 6. 

The practices, which were founded on tradition, at length 
made their appearance in a collected form in the Talmud, and in 
truth with many additions. By the aid of what is there stated, we 
shall endeavour to illustrate some things, which occur in the New 

The washing of hands, before meals, (a custom which originat- 
ed from the practice of conveying food to the mouth in the fin- 
gers,) was eventually made a religious duty ; on the ground, that, 
if any one, though unconscious of the circumstance at the time, 
had touched any thing, whatever it might be, which was unclean, 
and remained unwashed, when he ate, he thereby communicated 
the contamination to the food also. The Pharisees judged the 
omission of this ablution to be a crime of equal magnitude with 
fornication, and worthy of death. Consult the Talmud of Babylon, 
Aboda Zara p. 11, 1. Sota p. 4, 2. Berachoth p. 46, 2. Thaanith 
p. 20, 2. compared with Matt. 15: 1. et seq. 

They taught that, if a person had not departed from the 


house, the hands, without the fingers being distended, should be 
wet with water poured over them,' and then elevated, so that the 
water might flow down to the elbows ; furthermore, the water 
was to be poured a second time over the arms, in order that, (the 
hands being held down,) it might flow over the fingers. This 
practice is alluded to in Mark 7: 3, iav /urj nvyprj vlxpcovrai, and is 
denominated by the Rabbins ^02 . See Buxtorf's Chaldaic, Talmu- 
dic,^and Rabbinic Lexicon, col. 1335. On the contrary, those, 
who had departed from the house, washed in a bath, or at least, 
immersed their hands in water with the fingers distended. The 
ceremony in this case, (Mark 7: 4.) is denominated lav fiTj panTi- 
Covtcci, and by the Rabbins ^Stt . See Buxtorf's Lexicon, col. 849. 
The water-pots, which are mentioned in John 2: 6, appear to 
have been used in ablutions of the kind, that have now been men- 
tioned. From these ablutions, it is necessary to distinguish the 
symbolic washings, spoken of in Deut. 21: 6. Ps. 26: 6. and Matt. 
27: 24. Indeed the Pharisees were so scrupulously cautious, that 
they deemed it necessary to strain the liquids they were to drink, 
from the fear, that they might inadvertently swallow some unclean 
animalcule, Matt. 23: 24. 

They were so fearful of being contaminated, that they would 
not eat with Gentiles, nor indeed with those persons, to whom it 
fell to discharge the unpopular office of tax-gatherer, and, in the 
true spirit of the philosophers of their times, were disposed to 
consider, as sinners, and to spurn from their presence all, who 
were not of their own sect, Talmud, Chagiga 2, 7. Luke 7: 39. 
Matt/9: 11. 

They fasted twice a week, viz. on Thursday, when, as they 
supposed, Moses ascended mount Sinai, and on Monday, when he 
descended, Taanith, II. 9. p. Shabb. I. 24. compare Luke 18: 11. 

They enlarged their phylacteries, and the borders of their 
garments, Matt. 23: 5. Of the border or fringe of the garment, 
xgaantdov, rPiTiZ , Chald. "p^iSD^ , a slight mention has already 
been made in the hundred and twenty second section. The phy- 
lacteries, which had their origin from Exodus 13: 16. and Deut. 
6: 8. 11: 18. were pieces of parchment, on which were inscribed 
four passages of scripture, to wit, Exod. 13: 1 — 10, 11 — 16. and 
Deut. 5: 4—9. 11: 13 — 21 ; and which were then rolled up in the 
form of the letters of the word «$2) , and placed in receptacles of 


leather. They were confined upon the back part of the left hand 
by a leather thong, "p rha , and likewise upon the forehead 
between the eyes, "pa mSDtl 

Note. The Pharisees then, as appears from the statements, 
which have now been made, were in general a corrupt class of men. 
This assertion, nevertheless, will not apply to every individual of 
them ; for there were not wanting persons even in that sect, who 
were distinguished for their moral integrity, Mark 15: 43. Luke 2: 
25. 23: 51. John 19: 38. Acts 5: 34. 

That such was in truth the case, may be inferred both from 
the Jerusalem Talmud, (Berachoth p. 13, 2. Sota p. 20, 3.) and 
from the Talmud of Babylon, (Sota p. 22. 2.) where it is stated, 
that there were seven classes of Pharisees, who were very much 

Of two of these classes we shall briefly make mention, viz, (1) 
the Pharisees, who were called Sichemites, fcbttS iDT'ns, who enter- 
ed into that sect merely for the purposes of temporal emolument, 
Matt. 23: 5, 14 ; and (2) those, who were anxious to place them- 
selves under strict moral discipline, and were ready to perform 
every duty. It was in reference to the last mentioned persons, 
that the name of Pharisee was given, which means one, who is de- 
sirous of knowing his duty, in order that he may do it, SHtt ttj?"UI 
rTtoSW '■nsih HJ2, Luke 18: 18. 

§321. Concerning Galileans and Zealots. 

In the twelfth year of Christ, about the time, that Archelaus 
was sent away from his government, a secession was made from 
the sect of the Pharisees, and a new sect arose, called the Gali- 
leans. Not far from this time, Judea, which was a Roman prov- 
ince, was added for civil purposes to Syria, over which Quirinus 
was governor. It happened, when the tax was levied by Quiri- 
nus, that one Judas of Galilee, otherwise called Gaulonites, in 
company with Zaduk, a Sadducee, publicly taught, that such tax- 
ation was repugnant to the Law of Moses, according to which the 
Jews, they maintained, had no Jang, but God. The tumults, which 
this fellow excited, were suppressed, (Acts 5: 37,) but his disci- 
ples, who were called Galileans, continued to propagate this doc- 


trine, and, furthermore, required of all proselytes, that they should 
be circumcised. Consult Josephus, Antiquities, XVIII. 1, 6. Jew- 
ish War, II. 17: 7—9. VII. 8: 1—6. 9, 1, 2. 

It was in reference to this sect, that the captious question was 
proposed in Matt. 22: 17. et seq. viz. " Whether it was lawful to 
give tribute to Caesar V 1 The Galileans, whom Pilate slew in the 
Temple, (Luke 13: 1, 2.) appear to have been of this sect. 

Simon, one of the Apostles of Jesus, is called aavaviTrjg or £?]\o- 
z?ig Zelotes, Luke 6: 15. and, in Acts 21: 20. 22: 3. we find, that 
there were certain Christians at Jerusalem, who are denominat- 
ed Zealots. But these merely insisted on the fulfilment of the 
Mosaic Law, and by no means, went so far as those persons, term- 
ed Zelotae or Zealots, whom we read of in the history of the Jew- 
ish War. 

Note. Calmet respecting Simon the Zealot. 

[" Simon, the Canaanite, or Simon Zelotes, an apostle of Jesus 
Christ. It is doubtful whether the name Canaanite were derived 
to him from the city of Cana in Galilee ; or whether it might not 
be written Chanancan, from ">22::d Chenani, Chananean or Canaan- 
ite ; or whether it should not be taken according to its significa- 
tion in Hebrew, from the root Kana top, from which comes 13a or 
^2ip Kant or Kanani, to be zealous. St. Luke gives him the sur- 
name of Zelotes, the zealot, Luke 6: 15. Acts 1: 13. which seems 
to be a translation of the surname Canaanite, given him by the oth- 
er evangelists, Matt. 10: 4. Mark 3: 18. Some fathers say, he was 
of Cana, of the tribe of Zebulun, or of Naphtali. Theodoret, in 
Ps. 67: 18. Hieron. in Matt. x. The learned are divided about 
the signification of Zelotes ; some take it only to denote his zeal in 
embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ ; others think he was of a 
sect called Zealots, mentioned in Josephus, de Bello, lib. iv. cap. 2. 
item lib. vi. cap. 1."] 

§ 322. Respecting the Sadducees. 

The opinions of the Sadducees were peculiar. They believed, 
I. That besides God, there was no other spiritual being, 
whether good or bad. They believed, that the soul and the body 


died together, and that there neither was, nor could be any resur- 
rection, Matt. 22: 23. Acts 23: 8. 

II. They rejected the doctrine of fate, or of an overruling Pro- 
vidence, and maintained on the contrary, that the events, which 
happened, depended on the free and unconstrained actions of 

They held, that the traditions, which were received by the 
Pharisees, were not binding, Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 5, 9. 10, 
6. XVIII. 1, 4. Jewish War, II. 8, 14. 

They held other sentiments, it is true, peculiar to them as a 
sect, but they neither disseminated them with much zeal, nor cul- 
tivated a close intercourse and union with each other. It cannot 
be inferred, as some suppose, from what is remarked by Josephus, 
(Antiquities, XIII. 10, 6.) that they merely received the Penta- 
teuch, and rejected all the other Books of the Old Testament, for 
he does not, in the passage in question, oppose the Law to the oth- 
er Books, but to those unwritten traditions, which it was one of their 
principles to reject. Accordingly we find in the disputes of the 
Talmud, that the Sadducees are not only attacked from the other 
Books of the Old Testament, beside the Pentateuch, but also draw 
arguments from them in their own defence, Sanhedrin, p. 90, 2. 
Cholin, p. 87, 1. 

Note. The Sadducees, in progress of time, appear to have 
admitted the existence of angels, and also to have embraced the 
belief of the immortality of the soul, and in the eighth century, 
were distinguished, as a sect, merely by rejecting the authority of 
traditions. Whence they were at length called Caraites. 

If any are disposed to doubt this statement, it is, nevertheless, 
certain, that the Caraites are comparatively of recent origin, since 
Josephus says not a word concerning them. Dr. Rosenmueller, 
however, contends, (Analectae III. Stuck S. 163—176.) that the 
Scribe, mentioned in Mark 12: 28. et seq. was a Caraite. 




§ 323. Essenes AND Therapeutae. 

The principal ground of difference between the Essenes or Es- 
saei, and Therapeutae, consisted in this ; the former were Jews, 
who spoke the Aramean, the latter were Greek Jews, as the 
names themselves intimate, viz. fiTSfij and dsQcmiVTcu. The Es- 
senes lived chiefly in Palestine, the Therapeutae in Egypt. The 
Therapeutae were more rigid than the Essenes ; since the latter, 
although they made it a practice to keep at a distance from large 
cities, lived, nevertheless, in towns and villages, and practised ag- 
riculture and the arts, with the exception of those arts, which were 
made more directly subservient to the purposes of war. The The- 
rapeutae on the contrary, fled from all inhabited places, dwelt in 
fields and deserts and gardens, and gave themselves up to contem- 

Both the Essenes, and the Therapeutae held their property in 
common, and those things, which they stood in need of for the 
support and the comforts of life, were distributed to them from the 
common stock. The candidates for admission among the Es- 
senes gave their property to the society, but those, who were destin- 
ed for a membership with the Therapeutae, left theirs to their 
friends : and both, after a number of years of probation, made a 
profession, which bound them to the exercise of the strictest upright- 

The Essenes offered prayers before sunrise : after which each 
one was sent by the person, who was placed over them, to his re- 
spective trade, or to some agricultural employment. About eleven 
o'clock, they left their work, and assembled to partake of their 
bread and pottage. In the evening also their supper was in com- 
mon. Before and after meals, the priest offered up prayers. 

On the Sabbath, the Essenes listened to the reading of the Law 
in their Synagogues, which was attended with an allegorical ex- 
planation ; they also read books by themselves in private on that 

They pretended to possess the secret names of angels, which, 
it would have been an act of impiety, to have communicated to 
profane persons. They were upright, kept themselves free from 
crimes, and were particularly celebrated for their veracity. They 



did not approve of oaths, and never took one, except when join- 
ing the order. They asserted, that slavery was repugnant to na- 
ture. Some of them made pretensions to possessing the gift of 
prophecy. The Essenes avoided matrimony, with the exception 
of a particular class of them, who married, but did not cohabit, af- 
ter there was evidence of pregnancy. The rest lived in celibacy, 
not because they had any objection, in itself considered, to the 
marriage state, but because they supposed all women to be adulter- 
esses. If any one of this sect was found to be guilty of any crime, 
he was excluded from their society. 

In point of doctrine, their sentiments were nearly the same 
with those of the Pharisees. 

I. They believed, that God was the author of all good, but 
not of evil ; or, in other words, cooperated in good actions, but 
not in evil. 

IL They believed, that the soul was immortal, that the good 
after death received rewards beyond the islands of the sea, and 
that the wicked suffered punishments under the earth. 

III. They objected to sacrifices from slain animals, and, ac- 
cordingly, did not visit the Temple, Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 10, 
5. XVII. 13, 3. XVIII. 1, 5. 10, 5. Jewish War, II. 8, 2—12. 

The Therapeutae agreed, in most things, with the Essenes, 
but they all lived unmarried. They received females into their 
sect, but such remained virgins, and followed the same mode of 
life with the men. On the Sabbath only, both sexes sat at the 
same table, the men on the right, and the females on the left side 
of it ; their meals consisted of bread and salt alone, sometimes with 
an addition of hyssop. The Therapeutae kept vigils on the night 
of the sabbath, and, in imitation of the Israelites after their pas- 
sage through the Red Sea, sung hymns, and led sacred dances, Phi- 
lo de vita contemplativa. 

§ 324. Concerning the Hellenists. 

Hellenist is the name, which is given to the Jews, who are 
mentioned in Acts 6: 1. 9: 29. 11: 20, and who, not only in Egypt, 
Asia Minor, and Greece, but in all places, spoke the Greek, as 
their vernacular tongue. They do not appear to be the same 
with those, who are mentioned in John 7: 35, James 1:1, and first 

\ 5; ':>"' 


Peter I: 1, and are called dictanoga tcov ilktjtmv the dispersed 
among the Gentiles ; for it appears, that the Hellenists were found 
at Jerusalem, Acts 6: 1 ; and there were likewise found, among 
the dtaanOQoc or dispersed, Jews, who spoke the Aramean dialect, 
as, for instance, Paul himself, who was born at Tarsus, 2 Cor. 11: 
22. Philipp. 3: 5. Indeed those, who spoke the Aramean dialect, 
were thought to possess the preeminence over those Jews who 
spoke the Greek merely, and they, therefore, strove, in various 
places, to transmit their vernacular tongue down to their posteri- 

Onias, son of Onias III, as has already been mentioned, erect- 
ed a Temple in Leontopolis in Egypt, for the accommodation of the 
Hellenists, who resided there, about the year 149 before Christ ; 
in which priests of the house of Aaron, and Levites administer- 

In this Temple, the internal arrangements were the same, as 
in that of Jerusalem, except that the golden candlestick, instead of 
being placed on a base, was suspended by means of a gold chain, 
Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 3, 1 — 3. Onias, in engaging in this un- 
dertaking, was supported, as he supposed, by the expressions in 
Is. 19: 18, et seq. but the representations, which are there given 
are not to be so literally interpreted. This Temple, therefore, 
was erected without any sufficient authority from the Jewish 
Scriptures, and was not frequented by any other Jews, than the 
Egyptian and Cyrenian, who, notwithstanding its erection in the 
midst of them, frequently went to the Temple of Jerusalem, Acts 
6: 9. Talmud of Jerusalem, megilla, page 73, 4. The Egyptian 
Temple was shut up, in the year 73 of the Christian era, by the 
command of the emperour Vespasian, on account of some tumults 
of the Jews, Josephus, Jewish War, VII. 10, 4. Antiquities, XX. 

§ 325. Concerning Proselytes. 

Proselytes, nooor}).v$oi, i. e. those who have come in, (so 
called dno tov TtQOolr}lv&evcu,) are mentioned at a very an- 
cient period, but scarcely any where, except in connexion with 
the journey through Arabia, and afterwards in the history of the 
reigns of Solomon and David. Persons of this description are do- 



nominated by Moses t3"»"i3 , if they are destitute of a house, and 
Pfiftftft, if they have one. 

In the time of Christ and his Apostles, they were found every 
where in great numbers; some circumcised, and some uncircumcis- 
ed. The former were called pl^n *H1/M*< or righteous proselytes ; 
the latter "IglgSI *V proselytes of the gate. In the New Testa- 
ment we find a number of epithets applied to the latter class of 
proselytes, as follows, tvkccfli7g, tvotpsig, oepopevoi iov -deov, 
cf o^ovfxevoo jov &tQv, the pious, the devout, the reverential, etc. Acts 
2: 5. 10: 2, 22. 13: 16. 18: 7. comp. 2 K. 5: 17—19. 

The ancient Kenites, also the Rechabites, who were the pos- 
terity of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, are to be reckoned 
with this class of proselytes ; for they worshipped the one true God, 
while at the same time, they altogether refused to observe the 
Laws of Moses, Num. 10: 29. Judg. 1: 16. 4: 11, 1 Sam. 15: 6. 
Jer. xxxv. 

It is a saying among the Jews, that these proselytes observed 
those precepts, which are called the precepts of Noah, viz. 

(I.) That men should abstain from idolatry. 

(2.) That they should worship the true God alone. 

(3.) That they should hold incest in abhorrence. 

(4.) That they should not commit homicide. 

(5.) That they should not steal nor rob. 

(6.) That they should punish a murderer with death. 

(7.) That they should not eat blood, nor any thing, in which 
blood is, consequently, nothing strangled. 

They frequented the Synagogues in company with the Jews, 
and although they were at liberty to offer sacrifices to God in any 
place, where they chose, they preferred visiting the Temple of Je- 
rusalem, and offered sacrifices through the priests. 

The other class of proselytes, called the righteous, p*1S2£j "n-i, 
were united with the great body of the Jewish people, not only 
by circumcision, but, (after they were restored from the wound, 
that was inflicted in consequence of that rite,) by baptism also. 
Three witnesses, or sponsors were present at the ceremony of 
baptism. Their immersion was not only a symbol of their having 
been purified from the corruption of idolatry, but it signified like- 
wise, that, as they had been burried in the water, they now arose 



new men, or regenerated, as it were, the new born sons of Abraham, 
John 3: 3. 

The Jews assert, that the baptism of proselytes, which has now 
been spoken of, is mentioned in Exod. 19: 10, 14. 24: 8. and Gen. 
35: 2. They not only maintain, that it is a necessary ceremony, 
but assert, it is so efficacious, that it puts an entire end to the con- 
nexion of the proselyte with his kindred according to the flesh, so 
much so that he is at liberty, if he chooses, to marry his own moth- 
er. Comp. 1 Cor. 5: 1. et seq. 

Christ speaks of this baptism in such a way, as to imply, that 
it was well known, John 3: 10 ; and the only point, which Nicode- 
mus did not understand, was, that the Jews also, who were already 
the children of Abraham, were to be born again by baptism. The 
proselyte, after baptism, offered a sacrifice of two turtle doves, and 
two young pigeons. 

The female proselytes, who received the Mosaic Law, were 
baptized likewise, and were expected to present a similar offering. 
See Selden de jure nat. et. gent. II. 25. c. 4. p. 158. et seq. 

§ 326. Concerning the Samaritans. 

The people who were sent by Shalmaneser and Esarhaddon 
from Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim into the tract of 
country, which had formerly belonged to the tribes of Ephraim 
and Manasseh, (2 K. 17: 24. Ezra 4: 2 — 11.) united with one an- 
other, and with the Israelites, who were left there, and formed 
one people. They were called Samaritans from their principle 
city, Samaria. 

At first these people worshipped the respective gods of their 
own nations. But being harassed by lions, which had increased 
in number on account of the country's having been desolated, they 
attributed their sufferings from this source to the circumstance of 
their having neglected to worship the God of the country. They, 
therefore, received back from the king of Assyria an exiled He- 
brew priest, who took up his residence in Bethel, where the golden 
calf had formerly been. 

This priest taught them in the worship of Jehovah from the 
Books of Moses ; not, however, as we may well suppose, without 
mingling with it the idolatry of the calf, and representing that ani- 



mal, as the embodied form of the Deity ; so that the people were 
led in this way to worship idols and Jehovah at the same time, 2 K. 
17: 26—34. comp. 2 Chron. 30: 1—10. 

The Hebrews, after their return from exile, commenced build- 
ing the Temple. The Samaritans obtruded themselves upon them, 
as companions in the undertaking. The Jews, who saw, that 
they merely sought a participation in the benefits conceded by 
Cyrus, that they would not leave their idols, and cared but little 
about the true religion, repelled their proposals for an union. 
This was the source of an implacable hatred in the minds of the 
Samaritans against the Jews. They impeded, as much as possible, 
the building of the Temple, and surreptitiously obtained from the 
false Smcrdis a decree, counteracting that of Cyrus. 

The Jews, on the other hand, were in turn greatly embitter- 
ed, and somewhat intimidated, Ezra 4: 4 — 24. Hence, while they 
were pursuing their labours in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, they 
were often exhorted by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, to be 
of good courage. While Nehemiah was engaged in restoring the 
walls of Jerusalem, the Samaritans tried every art to frighten him 
from his labours, but in vain, Neh. 6: 1 — 14. These things in- 
creased the hatred of the Jews. When Nehemiah, about the year 
408 before Christ, took the resolution of removing from the people 
their foreign wives for fear of their being led astray by them, Ma- 
nasses, the son of the high priest Joiada, was unwilling to part with 
Ms. This woman was the daughter of Sanballat, the ruler of the 
Samaritans, and, accordingly, Manasses, her husband, went over to 
them, Neh. 13: 28. 

Sanballat obtained leave of Darius Nothus, and built a Temple 
on Mount Gerezim, and placed the Jew, his son-in-law, over the 
sacred observances. W 7 hile he fulfilled the office of high priest 
among them, the Samaritans appear to have dismissed their idols. 

After this, very many of the Jews, when they had transgress- 
ed the laws, fled to the Samaritans, that they might escape punish- 
ment, and thus the hatred was increased on both sides. In the 
year 167 before Christ, when Antiochus Epiphanes was king, the 
Samaritans consecrated their Temple to Jupiter, 1 Mace. 3: 10. 
Antiq. XII. 5, 5. but they returned afterwards to the religion of 

In the year 129 before Christ, John Hvrcanus destroyed their 



Temple, Josephus, Antiquities, XIII. 9. ] . On the other hand, the 
Samaritans, whenever they could, harassed and injured the Jews, 
Antiq. XII. 4, I. XVIII. 2, 2. Whence the hatred, already strong, 
was mutually increased, and, in the time of Christ, there appears 
to have been no intercourse between them, Luke 17: 16. John 4: 
9. et seq. So that the Jews in going from Galilee to Jerusalem 
could not with safety pass through Samaria, but crossed the Jor- 
dan, and went through Gilead. The Jews, under the influence of 
the hatred they bore to the Samaritans, changed the name of the 
city Sichem, into that of '"1311? Sychar, which means drunken, 
John 4: 5. 

Other grounds of controversy and ill-feeling, between the Sama- 
ritans and Jews, were as follows. 

I. The Samaritans did not receive, as of divine authority, all 
the Books of the Old Testament, but only the Pentateuch, which 
they had received from the Jewish priest, who had been sent to 
them from Assyria. They, nevertheless, expected the advent of a 
Messiah, John 4: 25. et seq. ; grounding their expectations on this 
point probably on Gen. 12: 3. 18: 18. 22:18. 26: 4. 28: 14. 

II. The Samaritans contended, that the proper place of wor- 
ship was not Jerusalem, but mount Gerezim, John 4: 20. Josephus, 
Antiquities, XIII. 3, 4. 

For some remarks, respecting the errours, which Josephus has 
committed in his account of Manasses, mentioned in this section, 
etc. see the original German edition of this Work, P. II. vol. II. 
§ 63. p. 278—280. 





§ 327. Of Sacred Places in general. 

In the earliest ages, God was worshipped, without any distinc- 
tion, at any time and at any place, whenever and wherever, the 
promptings of devotion moved in the hearts of his creatures ; more 
especially, however, under the shade of imbowering trees, on hills, 
and mountains, and in places, where they had experienced some 
special manifestations of his favour. 

The earliest altar, of which we have any account, is that of 
Noah, Gen. 8: 20. 

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob erected a number of altars in the 
land of Canaan, particularly in places, where they had been favour- 
ed with communications from God, Gen. 12: 7. 13: 4, 18. 26: 25. 
33: 20. 35: 1, 3, 7. 

Moses, and the author of the Book of Joshua both speak of 
idols, altars, and groves, but are silent respecting Temples. The 
first Temple of which we have any account, was the one at She- 
chem, which was dedicated to the god, Baal-berith, but, as it was 
furnished with a tower, &c. there had probably been others before 
it, Judg. 9: 4. 

Moses, although he had been acquainted with temples in Egypt, 
was not in a condition to erect one, while marching through Ara- 
bia, and, constructed in its stead the Tabernacle, which could ea- 
sily be transferred from place to place. This, as we may infer 
from Amos 5: 26, was not the first of its kind, and it is further- 
more, worthy of notice, that the Carthaginians are said to have 
borne with them likewise, at least in their warlike expeditions, a 
sacred tent. 

With respect to the Temple, which was subsequently erected 

4 IS § 328. or the tabernacle. 

in Palestine, it may be observed, that Moses gave no command on 
the subject. The plan appears to have originated with David ; al- 
though it was left to be executed by his successor. 

§ 328. Of the Tabernacle. 

The place, where public worship was held from the time of 
Moses, till Solomon, viz. the Tabernacle, is mentioned in the Old 
Testament by various names, to wit, anient, ]2ZJ2 a habitation, 
U"7p£) a sanctuary, n*2n a house, mn) I^SIS "p^tt the dwelling 
place of Jehovah's glory, TIVV bntt Jehovah's tent, ISpE and 
nni;n the tent of the congregation, and sometimes b^n the 
palace. It was divided into three parts. 

Theirs* part was the area or court of the Tabernacle, an hun- 
dred cubits, [about an hundred and fifty feet,] long, and fifty cubits, 
[about seventy five feet,] broad. 

It was surrounded on all sides, to the height of five cubits, 
with curtains cVrp made of linen. They were suspended from 
rods of silver, which reached from one column to another, and 
rested on them. The columns, CHI 7?i* , on the East and West, were 
ten, on the North and South, twenty in number, and were, with- 
out doubt, made of the acacia, (shittim wood.) The columns, in 
order to prevent their being injured by the moisture of the earth, 
were supported on bases of brass . Near the top of the col- 

umns, were silver hooks , in which the rods that sustained the 
curtains, were inserted. 

That part of the court of the Tabernacle, which formed the 
entrance, was twenty cubits in extent, and was on the East side of 
it. The entrance was closed by letting fall a sort of tapestry, 
which hung from rods or poles, resting on four columns, and 
which was adorned with figures in blue, purple, and scarlet. When 
the entrance was opened, the tapestry was drawn up. The cur- 
tains of the entrance were called ^073 [in distinction from the cur- 
tains, that were suspended around other parts of the court of the 
Tabernacle,] Exod. 27: 9—19. 39: 9—20. 

The tabernacle, (strictly so called,) was situated in the mid- 
dle of the western side of the court. It was covered on every part, 
and, in point of form, was an oblong square, being thirty cubits long 
from West to East, and ten broad from North to South. 



The walls were composed of forty eight boards or planks, viz. 
twenty on the North side, twenty on the South side, and six on 
the West. The two at the angles were doubled, making the forty 
eight, Exod. 26: 15 — 30. The Eastern side was not boarded. 
The boards, tP'I^p , were of acacia or shittim wood, ten cubits 
long, one and a half broad, and overlaid with plates of gold. They 
rested on bases of silver, and were united together by bars or poles 
also of gold. 

The tabernacle, thus constructed, was shielded by four cov- 
erings. The first, or rather interiour or lower covering, called 
13*553 , was made of "fine twined linen," extended down within 
a cubit of the earth, and displayed pictures of Cherubim, wrought 
into it with various colours, viz. blue, purple, and scarlet. The 
second, properly called bt"»N> was a fabric, woven of goats' hair, 
and extended very nearly to the ground, Exod. 26: 7 — 13. The 
third was of rams' skins dyed red, the fourth, of the skins of the 
*£ftn, a difficult word, meaning, according to some, a sky-blue col- 
our, according to others, a sea-animal ; both of the last were called 

The eastern side or entrance was closed by means of a curtain 
made of cotton, which was suspended from silver rods, that were 
sustained by five columns, covered with gold. 

The interiour of the Tabernacle was divided into two parts ; 
the first, twenty cubits long, and ten broad and high, was separated 
from the second or inner apartment, by a curtain or veil, which 
hung down from four columns overlaid with gold, and was denom- 
inated divregop xazaTiiTCcOfJCi, or the inner veil, Exod. 26: 36, 37. 
The first apartment was called tfinp, or the Holy, and in Hebrews 
9: 2. OY.YIVYI TiQfoTr] ,* the inner apartment was called, C^dTp *I5*ip, 
ayca aylmv or the most Holy, and sometimes axrju^ divrtga, or the 
inner Tabernacle. 

§ 329. The Altar and brazen laver. 

Nearly in the centre of the outer court was the altar, ttattt , 
Srfcton rDTtt, Exod. 40: 29. It was a kind of coffer, three cubits 
high, five long and broad, made of shittim wood. The lower part 
rested on four short columns or feet, the sides of which were 
grates of brass, through which the blood of the victim flowed out. 



The sides of the upper part of the altar were wood covered with 
brass, and the interiour space was filled with earth, upon which 
the fire was kindled. The four corners of the altar projected up- 
wards, so as to resemble horns. At the four corners were rings, 
myztt, through which poles, tJVja j were placed, for the purpose 
of transporting it from place to place. On the South side there 
was an ascent on to it, made of earth heaped up, Exod. 20: 24. 24: 
4. 27: ]— 8. 38: 1—7. Lev. 9: 22. 

The appurtenances of the altar were the "J^b ni^PD , or urns 
for carrying away the ashes ; the or shovels, for collecting 

them together; the rnpn»72, or skins for receiving and sprinkling 
the blood of the victims ; the ni^rTXD , a sort of tongs for turning the 
parts of the victim in the fire ; the ninnE , or censers for burning 
incense, and other instruments of brass, Exod. 27: 3. 38: 3. 

Between the altar and the Tabernacle, a little to the South, 
stood a circular laver, "1^3 , which, together with its base, ]3 , 
was made of the brazen ornaments, which the women had present- 
ed for the use of the Tabernacle, and was thence called, 1T>!S 
n'^n: , Exod. 30: 18. 40: 7. The priests, when about to perform 
their duties, washed their hands in this laver. 

§ 330. The Golden Candlestick. 

The Golden Candlestick, tt*T?3J3 , was placed in the first 
apartment of the Tabernacle, on the South side. It stood on a base 
*J*V , from which the principal stem siaj^ , arose perpendicularly. 
On both sides of it, there projected upwards, in such a way as to 
describe a curved line, three branches, trap . They arose from 
the main stem, at equal distances from each other, and to the same 
height with it. The height in the whole, according to the Jewish 
Rabbins, was Jive feet, and the breadth, or the distance between 
the exteriour branches, three and a half. The main stem together 
with the branches were adorned with knops, flowers, and other or- 
naments of gold. 

The seven extremeties of the main stem and branches were 
employed, as so many separate lamps, all of which were kept burn- 
ing in the night, but three only in the day, Exod. 30: 8. Lev. 24: 
4. Antiq. III. 8, 3. 

The priest, in the morning, put the lamps in order with his 



golden snuffers, C^rtpV^ , and carried away the tilth, that might 
have gathered upon them, in golden vessels made for that purpose, 
fpfinw . The weight of the whole candlestick was a talent or one 
hundred and twenty five pounds, Exod. 25: 31—40. 27: 20. 37: 17 
—24. Lev. 24: 1—4. Num. 4: 9. 

§ 331. Of the Tadle of Shew-Bread. 

In the first apartment of the Tabernacle also, on the North 
6ide, was a Table, |nbl|i , made of acacia wood ; two cubits long, 
one broad, and one and a half high, and covered over with laminae 
of gold. The top of the leaf of this table was encircled with a bor- 
der, or rim of gold. The frame of the table, immediately below 
the leaf, was encircled with a piece of wood, rn2 Dtt , of about four 
inches in breadth, around the edge of which there was a rim or 
border, *i]r, the same, as around the leaf. A little lower down, but 
at equal distances from the top of the Table, there were four rings 
of gold, fastened to the legs of it, through which staves covered 
with gold, were placed, for the purpose of carrying it, Exod. 25: 23 
—28. 37: 10—16. 

The rings here mentioned, inT nisaLJ , were not found in the 
table of shew-bread, which was afterwards made for the Temple, 
nor indeed in any of the sacred furniture, where they had previous- 
ly been, except in the Ark of the covenant. 

Twelve unleavened loaves were placed upon this table, which 
were sprinkled over with frankincense, and, it is stated in the 
Alexandrine version, (Lev. 24: 7.) with salt likewise. They were 
placed in two piles, one above another, were changed every sabbath 
day by the priests, and were called £ppi fch;: the bread of the face, 
because it was exhibited before the face or throne of Jehovah, 
fitnyftti Dfrb the bread arranged in order, and Tftn tlftb the per- 
ptluaYbread 'Xw. 24: 6, 7. 1 Chron. 23: 29. 

Wine was placed upon the table in bowls, some larger, rn^jpp , 
and some smcdler, rn©3 , also in a sort of vessels, that were cover- 
ed, rn&p, and in cups, , which were employed in pouring in 
and taking out the wine from the other vessels, Exod. 25: 29, 30. 
37: 10—16. 40: 4, 24. Lev. 24: 5—9. Num. 4: 7. 


§ 332. The Altar of Incense. 

The altar of incense, rnbp ^lttpfc h3TX3 , was situated be- 
tween the Table of shew-bread and the golden candlestick, to- 
wards the veil, which enclosed the interiour apartment of the 
Tabernacle, or the Holy of holies. It was constructed of shittim 
or acacia wood, a cubit long and broad, and two high. It was or- 
namented at the four corners, and overlaid throughout with lami- 
nae of gold. Hence it was called the golden altar, int h2t73 , also 
the interiour altar, WIS!! ft2T» , in contradistinction from the altar 
for the victims, which was in the large court. 

The upper surface of this altar, 33 , was encircled by a border, 
,and on each of the two sides, were fastened at equal distances, 
two rings for the admission of the rods of gold, by which it was 
carried. Incense was offered on this altar daily, morning and 
evening, a description of which is given in Exod. 30: 34 — 37. 
comp. Exod. 30: 1—10. 37: 25—29. 40: 5, 26. Josephus, Antiqui- 
ties, HI. 6, 8. Jewish War, V. 3: 5. 

§ 333. Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. 

The Ark of the Covenant, n^SUn "p^tt , miSJtt jVlflt, V at^oj- 
Tog irjg dw&qxtjQ) was deposited in that part of the Tabernacle, 
called the Holy of holies, a place so secluded, that the light of day 
never found an entrance within it. It was a box of an oblong 
shape, made of shittim wood, a cubit and a half broad and high, 
and two cubits long, and covered on all sides with the purest gold. 
It was ornamented on its upper surface with a border or rim of gold, 
and on each of the two sides, at equal distances from the top, were 
two gold rings, in which were placed, (to remain their perpetually,) 
the staves of gold, by which the Ark was carried, and which contin- 
ued with it, after it was deposited in the Temple. It was so situated 
in the Holy of holies, that the ends of the rods touched the veil, 
which separated the two apartments of the Tabernacle, Exod. 25: 
10—15. 37: 1—9. IK. 8: 8. 

The lid or cover of the Ark, rn*S3, IXaoirioiov, enl&ijfAU, was 
of the same length, and breadth, and made of the purest gold. 

Over it, at the two extremeties, were two Cherubim, with 



their faces turned towards each other, and inclined a little to the 
lid, [otherwise called the mercy-seat.] Their wings, which were 
spread out over the top of the ark, formed the throne of God, the 
king, while the ark itself was his footstool. 

There was nothing within the ark, excepting the two Tables of 
stone, on which were inscribed the ten fundamental laws of the 
Jewish religion and commonwealth. 

A quantity of manna was laid up beside the ark, in a a vase of 
gold, n::2:£, Exod. 17: 32, 36; also the rod of Aaron, Num. 17: 
10. and a copy of the Books of Moses, Deut. 31: 26. 

Note. It is stated, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that the al- 
tar of incense was placed in the interiour apartment of the Taber- 
nacle or Holiest of all, and that the rod of Aaron, and the vase of 
manna were deposited within the ark of the covenant. The wri- 
ter of this Epistle, (even supposing Paul was not the author of it,) 
gives far too decided indications of his erudition, to permit us to 
suppose, that he was ignorant of the statements in Exod. 16: 33, 
34. Num. 17: 10. and 1 K. 8: 9. The assertions, therefore, to 
which we have referred, are to be considered the errours of the 
person, who translated the Epistle from the Hebrew into the 

§ 334. Respecting the Holy Land. 

The camps of the Hebrews participated, in some degree, in 
that sacredness, which attached itself to the tabernacle, Deut. 23: 
13 — 15. Lev. 13: 46. This idea of consecration and holiness be- 
came connected afterwards with the country of the Hebrews itself, 
which had formerly been consecrated to the true God by the patri- 
archs in the erection of altars, and was now the residence of the 
only true religion, Exod. 15: 16. 2 Mace. 1: 7. 

The more recent Jews assigned different degrees of holiness, 
etc. to different regions, the highest to the countries occupied by 
Moses and Joshua, and the least to the regions, subdued by David. 
As to all other lands and districts, they considered them profane, 
the very dust of which would contaminate a Jew, Matt. 10: 14. 
Acts 13: 51. 18: 6. That place or town was considered peculiar- 
ly holy, the most so of any other, in which the Tabernacle was fix- 



ed and the Ark of the covenant. For instance, Gilgal, and after- 
wards Skiloh, a city situated on a pleasant mountain, twenty three 
miles north of Jerusalem, in the tribe of Ephraim, Josh. 18: 1, 8, 9. 
Judg. 20: i. 1 Sam. 1: 3—24. 2: 14. 3: 3—21. 4: 3, 4, 13—18. 7: 
5. 10: 17. 

The tabernacle, during the reign of Saul, was removed to Nob, 
between Arimathaea and Joppa, six and a quarter miles north of 
Jerusalem, and was afterwards conveyed to Gibeon, 1 Chron. 16: 
39—43. 2 Chron. 1: 2—6, 13. 1 K. 3: 5—9. The ark of the co- 
venant was taken, in the time of Eli, from the tabernacle, and car- 
ried into the army, was captured by the Philistines, and afterwards 
sent back to the city of Kirjathjearim, situated on the boundary be- 
tween Judah and Benjamin, and nine miles west of Jerusalem, 

1 Sam. 6: 20. 7: 2. It remained there, till it was carried back 
nearly seventy years after, to mount Zion by David, 2 Sam. 6: 1 — 
20. 1 Chron. 13: 1—4. 15: 1—16. It was at last removed by 
Solomon into the temple, 1 K. 8: 1—9. 2 Chron. 5: 2—20. 

§ 335. Of Jerusalem, the Holy City. 

After this time, viz. the erection of the temple, and the re- 
moval of the ark into it, Jerusalem was called the city of God, 
IWtfjiHT! T^j the holiest dwelltng-place of the most High, 
"P" 1 -?. ^3S^7a ttjilp ; and the holy city, fij^'p "Typj Ps. 46: 3. Is. 48: 

2 Dan. 9: 24. ; by which last title, it is mentioned on the coins of 
the Maccabean age ; and it is thus called throughout the East, at 
the present day, by the Mohamedans. 

It was situated on the southern boundary of the tribe of Ben- 
jamin, in latitude 31° 50', Josh. 15: 8. 18:26—28. Judg. 1: 21. 
It is thirty seven miles distant from the Mediterranean, and twenty 
three from the Jordan. See Reland's Palestine, P. I. B. II. p. 423. 

The holy city was situated on three hills, and was bounded on 
three sides, by valleys, viz. on the East, West, and South, but on 
the North, there was merely a steep declivity. The most lofty of 
these hills was Zion, otherwise called the city of David. 

The hill of Moria was situated to the East of Zion, and was 
separated from it by a deep valley intervening. Upon this hill, the 
Temple was built. 

There was a third hill of less elevation, than either of those, 



which have been mentioned, situated to the North and separated 
from Moria and Zion by a valley. It has been named in modern 
times Acra. 

In the time of Christ, there was a suburb to the North of the 
city, called fiz&da, Nn'irj mmvqtioUq, which was at length 

enclosed with walls by king Agrippa. 

Both Zion and Acra had walls of their own, distinct from the 
great city wall, and the hill of Moria was encircled likewise by the 
wall of the temple. The circumference of the city, in the time 
of Josephus, was about four miles and an eighth, Jewish War, V. 
4, 3. 

At the bottom of Mount Moria, to the South east, flowed the 
fountain Siloam or Siloe, hVr Is. 8: 6. Neh. 3: 15. John 9: 7, 11. 
Luke 13: 4 ; the only fountain, whose waters gladdened the 

On the borders of this stream were the gardens of the Kings, 
and, so late as the time of Jerome, the valley through which it 
passed, was rendered delightful by shady groves. See his Com- 
mentary on Matt. x. This commentator observes further, in his 
remarks on Jeremiah xiv. and Isaiah 8: 6, that Siloe does not flow 
regularly, but only on certain days and hours, when it bursts forth 
through the crevices of the earth, and from rocky caves, with 
much violence and with surprising noise. The hill Ophel ap- 
pears to have been not far from this stream, Josephus, Jewish War, 
V. 4, 1. 

Both the valley, which separates the city on the East from 
the much more lofty mount of Olives, and the winter-torrent, which 
flows through it, were called by the common name of Cedron, 
■jinip Kedpolv, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 6, 1. 

To the South of the city is the valley of the son of Hinnom, 
EiSt"! I'D. 1$ , in which was the place called Tophet, npn , rendered 
famous on account of the immolation of children, which was wit- 
nessed there. To the West, is the valley of Gihon, "pfP-j, which 
is less deep, however, than that of Hinnom, 1 K. 1: 33, 38. 2 Chron. 
33: 14. 32: 30. 

The approach of an army to the city, from either of these 
three vallies, was difficult. It was, therefore, commonly attacked 
on the North. 

Golgotha or Calvary, in Syriac Nnbi^bi , in Chaldaic 



Kfc&t&J and n3riiVa , was situated out of the city, Matt. 27: 33. Mark 
15: 22. John 19: 17. According to Eusebius and Jerome, it was 
to the North of Zion. Hence the hill, which is now situated in 
the middle of the city of Jerusalem, and on which is shown to the 
pilgrim the pretended tomb of the Sav iour, cannot be the place, 
where he was buried. What is said in opposition to this conclu- 
sion, viz. that the city as it now exists, is built in a different place 
from what it was formerly, can be admitted only so far as this, that 
the hill of Zion and Bezetha are excluded from it, but it does not 
prove that the city has extended North and West, more than it did 
originally, and thereby taken in the hill of Calvary, which could 
not be well done, on account of the vallies. This statement in 
respect to Calvary solves some difficulties in the account of the re- 
surrection of Christ. 

Many of the gates of the city are indeed mentioned, but the 
situation of almost all of them is difficult to be precisely ascer- 

§ 3S0. Mount Moriaii. 

Mount Moriah, on which, agreeably to the last wishes of king 
David, the Temple was erected, about the year 592 after the de- 
parture of the Hebrews from Egypt, was an abrupt ascent, the 
summit of which was so small, that it did not extend base sufficient 
for the courts and appendages of the sacred edifice, Josephus, 
Jewish War, V. 5, 1. It was with the view to remedy the evil, 
which was thus occasioned, by giving a greater extent to this em- 
inence, that Solomon raised a wall of square stones, along the val- 
lies, which encircled it, and filled up the intervening space be- 
tween the wall and the acclivity of the hill with earth, Josephus 
Antiquities, XV. 11,2. 

After the Captivity, the Hebrews continued gradually to in- 
crease the extent of this hill for many ages ; they moved back 
the wall on the North, and on the South and West also erected 
wails of immense square stones from the lowest parts of the val- 
lies, so as at last to render the top of the hill a furlong square. 
The smallest altitude of the walls was four hundred and fifty feet, 
the greatest, viz. in the southern direction, six hundred. 

Josephus, who makes these statements, is not always consistent 



with himself; but, on this point, we do not wish at present to en- 
ter into a discussion. Compare the history of the Jewish War, V. 
5, 1. with the same Work I. 21, 1. V. 5,6. and Jewish Antiquities, 
VIII. 3, 9. XV. 11, 3. XX. 9, 7. 

§ 337. Of the Temple of Solomon. 

The summit of Moriah, the extent of which had been increased, 
as has already been seen, by a wall built around, and which was 
encircled on the Eastern, and probably on all sides with a gallery 
or portico, was divided into the great or exteriour court, 'iSffJIi 
n:i^^hrr, and the interiour court, nWrBii l^hrt otherwise called 
the court before the temple WWI *Stfe i#k *"i£ftn , called also the 
court of the priests, d^nbn K. 6: 36. 7: 12. 2 K. 23: 12. 

2 Chron. 4: 9. 20: 5. Ez'eL 40: 28. 

Whether these two courts were separated from each other 
by a wall, or merely by a sort of latticed fence or trellis, does not 
clearly appear, for the description of the temple, as it is given in 
1 K. 6: I— 38. 7: 13—51. and 2 Chron. 3: 1—4, 22. is a very con- 
cise one. This, however, is evident in respect to this subject, 
that the new court, so called, fttZJlfrlH ^l&rffi fl mentioned in 2 Chron. 
20: 5. was not a third court, but the second or interiour one, newly 

There were various buildings, and apartments, niD'i3V , in which 
provisions were kept, also the vases and other utensils, which be- 
longed to the temple ; and some of which, were occupied like- 
wise by the priests and Levites, while they were employed there, 
in the fulfilment of their sacred duties, 1 Chron. 9: 26, 33. 23: 28. 
28: 12. 2 Chron. 31: 12. Jer. 35: 2, 4. 36: 10. 

The altar in the interiour court or the court of the priests was 
built of unhewn stones, for Moses expressly forbade any others to 
be used ; it was covered, like that in the tabernacle, with brass, 
although it was not built with the same dimensions, it being twen- 
ty cubits long and broad, and ten high, 2 Chron. 4: 1, 10. 

The vases, and other utensils, belonging to this altar, were 
much more numerous, than in the tabernacle, 1 K. 7: 40 — 47. 
The very large brazen laver, called the molten sea pETO CP , was 
an hemisphere, ten cubits in diameter, five deep, and thirty in cir- 
cumference. It could contain three thousand baths, and was 


adorned in its upper edge with figures, that resembled lilies in 
bloom. But, although it held the large number of baths, which 
have been mentioned, it was commonly supplied with only two 
thousand, 2 Chron. 4: 3—5. 1 K. 7: 26. 

It was enriched with various ornamental figures, and rested on 
the back of twelve oxen, fhree facing to the North, and three to the 
East, and the others in the opposite directions. 

There were, in addition to the brazen sea, ten smaller brazen 
lavcrs n£>rn rnT3 , which were also set off* with various ornaments, 
five on the North, and five on the South side of the court. They 
rested on bases and wheels of brass, were each four cubits in cir- 
cumference, and held forty baths. The flesh of the victims, that 
were sacrificed, was washed in these lavers, 1 K. 7: 27 — 39. 2 
Chron. 4: 6. 

§ 338. The Sanctuary of Solomon's Temple. 

The sanctuary, n^3 : , ^"TT , PT3 6 vaog; was sixty cu- 

bits long, twenty broad, and thirty high, with the exception of the 
part called the sanctissimum or Most Holy, the height of which 
was only twenty cubits ; so that there remained a room above it of 
ten cubits in height. 

The windows, CEDN fcp'J ^inVft appear to have been latticed, 
1 K. 6: 2—4. 

In front of the sanctuary, was the porch ngovctog, Ebntf , an 
hundred and twenty cubits high, twenty broad from North to South, 
and ten long from East to West, 1 K. 6: 3. 2 Chron. 3: 4. 

Two columns of brass were erected near the entrance of this 
Porch ; each twelve cubits in circumference. The one to the 
North was called "pD" 1 Jachin ; the other, which was to the South, 
was called Trz Boaz. The height of the shafts of these columns 
was eighteen cubits; of the capitals, ni nnb , five cubits ; and of 
the base, thirteen cubits, making the whole altitude thirty six. 

If in 1 K. 25: 17. the capitals are said to be only three cu- 
bits in height, the reason of it probably was, that their altitude 
had been diminished, in the repairing, at some time, of the Tem- 
ple. These pillars were profusely ornamented with carved rep- 
resentations of leaves, pomegranates, etc. were hollow within, and 



the brass of which they were made, was a hand's breadth in thick- 
ness, 1 K. 7: 15—20. 2 Chron. 3: 15—17. 

A gallery extended along the sides of the sanctuary, with the 
exception of the Eastern, which was three stories high, was con- 
structed of beams and planks, and to which there was an ascent on 
the South side, by a flight of winding stairs, tPj}^, 1 K. 6: 5, 6, 8. 
The sanctuary itself was constructed of square stones, but was cov- 
ered with boards of cedar, within and without, in which a variety 
of ornamental figures were carved out, and which was over-laid 
with laminae of gold. The passage into the Porch, noovuog, was 
very lofty and broad, but it was merely an open entrance, without 
any door. The entrance into the sanctuary, on the, contrary, was 
closed by a valve or folding door, made of the oleaster or wild ol- 
ive, which was ornamented with specimens of carved work in the 
shape of cherubim, palms, and flowers, was covered with gold, and 
turned on golden hinges, 1 K. 6: 33 — 35. 

The door, that opened into the sanctissimum or Holy of Holies, 
which was a pentagon in point of form, was adorned and enrich- 
ed, in the same way, with that of the sanctuary, IK. 6: 31, 32. 
Both doors were cohered with a veil of linen, wrought with embroi- 
dery, 2 Chron. 3: 14. 

Within the sanctuary was the altar of incense, overlaid with 
gold, ten tables, also overlaid with gold, and ten golden candle- 
sticks, five of each on the North, and five on the South side. On 
these tables were placed not only twelve loaves, but also an hundred 
golden cups. The other vessels of the sanctuary likewise were 
more numerous, than in the tabernacle, 1 K. 7: 48 — 50. 2 Chron. 
4. 19—22. 

The ark of the covenant was deposited in the Holy of holies. 
Its position was such, that the staves, by which it was carried, and 
which were somewhat long, touched the veil ; from which circum- 
stance it may be inferred, that the door of this apartment stood 
open, 1 K. 8: 8. 2 Chron. 5: 9. 

Near the ark, were two cherubim, made of the wood of the 
wild-olive, and covered with gold. Each of which was ten cubits 
high, and each extended one of its wings over the ark, to the mid- 
dle of it, and the other to the wall, 1 K. 6: 23—28. 2 Chron. 3: 



Note 1. The description of the Temple of Solomon, which is 
given in the Books of Kings and Chronicles, is silent on many 
points, which, in the age, in which those books were written, 
could be learnt without difficulty from other sources. In various 
places also, the account appears to have suffered from the care- 
lessness of transcribers. Hence the statements, in 1 K. vi — vit. 
and 2 Chron. ui — iv. do not every where agree. It will, there- 
fore, be readily seen, that, it is not possible to give, in every re- 
spect, a perfect idea of this edifice. When viewed, as the work 
of very early times, and in reference to the notions, which then 
prevailed, Solomon's temple may be considered magnificent, but it 
ought not to be compared with more recent specimens of archi- 

Note II. Cherubim, tPSn"D, were figures of a wonderful 
form, which sustained the chariot of thunders or throne of God. 
They had four faces, and as many wings and hands ; and their 
feet, which projected down straight, had hoofs, like an ox, Ezek. l. 
Cherubim of such a form could not be fully represented on em- 
broidered work, and it would seem, from the account, which is giv- 
en of them, that the golden cherubim, which spread their wings 
over the ark of the covenant, were different in shape from those, 
which have now been described. Perhaps, therefore, this class of 
beings existed in different forms. The meaning of these symbolic 
representations, I have explained in my treatise on Hermeneutics, 
§ 20. p. 59, 60. 

§ 339. Of the TexMPLe of Zerubbabel. 

This Temple was commenced under the direction of Zerubba- 
bel, after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish Captivity, 
in the year 535 before Christ. The work had no sooner been be- 
gun, than it experienced an interruption of fifteen years, but was 
resumed again in the year 520 before Christ, and completed in the 
year 515, Ezek. 3: 8, 9. 4: 4—24. 5: 1—6, 21. 

According to the decree, which was given by Cyrus, (Ezra 6: 
3, 4.) its height and breadth were sixty cubits each ; and we 
may, therefore, suppose the length, which was either never men- 
tioned, or has fallen out from the text, to have been, (in order 
to maintain the proportion,) 120 or ISO cubits. But the old men, 



who had Jived to see the foundations laid, predicted, that it would 
be inferiour to the Temple of Solomon, Ezra 3: \% Hag. 2: 1 — 9. 
To how great an extent, their anticipations turned out to be true, 
there is nothing stated, which will enable us precisely to deter- 

This, however, is clear, that its treasures, which arose from 
the annual contribution of a half-shekel by every Jew, wherever 
he might be, and from the presents of proselytes and the heathen, 
became immense, Antiq. XIV. 12, 1. XX. 9. 7. Jewish War, I. 6,8. 
It was by the aid of these treasures, that the immense walls, which 
have been mentioned, around the bottom of mount Moriah, were 
erected, Jewish War, V. 5, 1. 

But in this Temple, there was only one candlestick, and one 
golden table. The Ark of the covenant, the sacred oil, the Urim and 
Thummim, and the sacred fire were gone ; also that singular cloud 
the Shekinah, fr^'ij'j which anciently was seen over the Taber- 
nacle and had afterwards filled the Temple, 2 Chron. 7, 1 — 3. 
1 K. 8, 10—12. 2 Chron. 5: 13—14» 6: 1. 

The Maccabean princes built a tower, which they called Baris, 
on the North side of this edifice. Herod rebuilt, enlarged, and 
adorned it, and named it Antonia, in honour of Mark Antony, 
Antiq. XV. 11,4. Alexander Jannaeus separated the court of the 
Priests by a wooden trellis from the court of the Israelites, Antiq. 
XIII. 13, 5. 

§ 340. Of the Temple of Herod. 

Herod, by successively renewing the parts of the Temple, 
rendered it extremely magnificent. He began the work in the 
16th year before Christ, and finished it, in a great measure, in 
the eighth year ; but additions continued to be made to the Tem- 
ple, till the year 64 Anno Domini, John 2: 20. Josephus, Antiqui- 
ties, XV. 11, 1. 5. 6. XX. 9, 7. Jewish War, I. 21, 1. 

The Temple, as it appeared after having been subjected to the 
labours of Herod, had three courts or open areas, each one of 
which was situated above the other. 

The first court was enclosed by that outer wall, which has 
been described, and which was raised from the base of the mount. 
In the middle of this court was an ascent of four steps, which led 



to an enclosure of stone. On the gates, that opened through this 
enclosure, and on the columns contiguous, were inscriptions in 
Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, which interdicted, under penalty of 
death, any further entrance, to the unclean and the Gentiles. Im- 
mediately back of this wall, succeeded an ascent of fourteen steps 
into a level space ten cubits broad, which was succeeded by an- 
other ascent of five steps to the gates of the second wall, which 
was forty cubits high outside, and twenty five within. This wall 
enclosed the court of the Israelites, while the first court in re- 
ference to the inscriptions, which have been mentioned, was called 
the court op the Gentiles. 

Between the court of the Israelites, and that of the Gentiles, 
on the East side, was the court of the Hebrew women, which was 
separated from the court of the Israelites by a wall so low, as to 
permit its occupants to see the men, while they themselves re- 
mained unseen. The entrance into the court of the women was 
through two gates, the one on the North, the other on the South 

The quadrangular area, immediately around the altar and the 
Sanctuary, was called the court of the Priests ; it was surroun- 
ded by a low, but elegant enclosure, so that the people had an op- 
portunity of looking into it, while, at the same time, they were not 
permitted to enter, Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11. 5. Jewish War, 
V. 5, 2—6. 

§341. Of the Gates of Herod's Temple. 

The largest Gate was situated in the outer wall, on the Eas- 
tern side. It was called the Beautiful, -&vqo. cJp«/a, (Acts 3: 2,) 
and was splendidly ornamented with Corinthian brass, which was 
reckoned preferable either to silver or gold, Pliny, N. H. XXXIV. 
1,3, 7. 

It equalled the Sanctuary in height, which in the highest place, 
was more than an hundred cubits. The folds of this gate were 
fifty cubits high and forty broad, and were covered with plates of 
gold and silver. The ascent to it was from the valley of Cedron 
over many steps, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 3. 

To the South of the Temple, there was a valley four hundred 
cubits deep. There was a gate, nevertheless, in that direction, 



leading from the wall into the lower part of the city, which stretch- 
ed along through the valley towards the East, in such a way, that 
the wall of the city joined itself to the eastern wall of the temple, 
Antiquities, XV. 11. 5. 

On the West side, two Gates led, by numerous steps, into the 
valley below, which ran in a Southern direction, and was filled 
with houses. There were two other Gates on the Western side 
of the temple beside these ; one of which connected the temple, 
by means of a bridge over the valley, with mount Zion, and the 
other conducted into the lower part of the city, Josephus, Antiqui- 
ties, XV. 11, 5. Jewish War, V. 5, 3. 

On the North, there was no Gate, but the tower antonia was 
connected with the temple by means of a covered passage. This 
tower was so situated, as to command it, and was accordingly 
made the station for a cohort of Roman soldiers. Compare Acts 
21:31—34. Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11,4. Jewish War, V. 
5, 3. 

On the North and South sides of the inner wall, there were 
six Gates, three on each side, which faced each other. On the 
Eastern side, there was a Gate, which corresponded to the one 
called the Beautiful in the first wall, and two Gates, already men- 
tioned, led into the court of the women. The Western side of 
the inner wall, which was contiguous to the sanctuary, had no 
Gate, Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11,5. Jewish War, V. 5, 3. 

All these Gates had folds, were thirty cubits high, and fifteen 
broad ; the thresholds and the posts, as well as the Gates, were 
covered with silver and gold. They were all surmounted with a 
sort of turret, which increased the height to forty cubits. There 
was a vacant space left around the Gates of thirty cubits in extent, 
where the people were in the habit of assembling, Jewish War, 
V. 5, 3. 

§ 342. Porches in the Temple of Herod. 

A triple porch extended around the Southern wall of the 
court of the Gentiles, but the Porches in the other directions, that 
is to say, which were contiguous to the Northern, Eastern, and 
Western sides or walls of this court, were merely double. The 
Porches, in the court of the Israelites, were double likewise. 


434 <§, 342. porches in the temple of herod. 

Each double porch rested on a triple, and each triple porch on 
a quadruple row of columns, the last row being contiguous to the 

The columns, (which were Corinthian in respect to architec- 
ture,) were hewn out of white marble, and were twenty five cubits 
in height, but the whole altitude, including pedestals, capitals, cor- 
nice, and roof, did not fall short of fifty cubits. 

The columns were so large, that three men could scarcely ex- 
tend their arms around them. The roof, which was flat, was con- 
structed of cedar wood. 

Each of these porches was thirty cubits broad, and fifty high ; 
with this exception, viz. that the middle one on the South side 
was forty five broad and an hundred high, from the roof of which, 
one could hardly look down into the valley below, five hundred cu- 
bits deep, without experiencing dizziness. It is this porch, with- 
out doubt, which is called, in Matt. 4: 5. nregvyiov tov uqov, the 
pinnacle of the temple. Compare Matt. 4: 5. with Strabo p. 805, 
Antiquities, XV. 11, 5. Jewish War, V. 5, 2. 

The eastern porch in the court of the Gentiles was called Solo- 
mon's, John 10: 23. Acts 5: 12. Jewish War, V. 5, 1. 

All the porches were paved with marble of various colours, 
Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 2. The porches in the court of the 
Gentiles were resorted to by money changers, and those, who 
sold animals, that were destined for the altar, Matt. 21: 12 — 16. 
John 2: 12 — 22. Jerusalem Talmud, Gemara, Jom tob. p. 61. and 
Chagiga p. 78, 1. In this court, (that of the Gentiles,) appear to 
have been repositories, of which we are informed by Josephus, 
(Jewish War, VI. 5, 2.) in which the treasures, utensils, and sup- 
plies, etc. of the temple were kept. But these repositories are to 
be distinguished from the treasury, mentioned in Mark 12: 41. into 
which the gifts of the temple were cast. 

The Talmudists state, that there were thirteen such treasu- 
ries, different ones being allotted for the reception of different ar- 
ticles. They further state, that they were situated in the court of 
the women, and that they were coffers or boxes, which, in point of 
shape resembled a horn, the gifts of the temple being thrown into 

It may be inferred from the nature of the case, no less than 
from the fact of Josephus' incidentally mentioning subterranean 



chambers, that there were probably other apartments in these 
courts, of which the knowledge has not come to us. 

The altar for victims was constructed of unhewn stones, fif- 
teen cubits high, and fifty in length and breadth, and the corners of 
it projected upwards, like horns. The ascent to it was on the South 
side, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 6. 

§ 343. Of the Sanctuary. 

The Sanctuary or Temple strictly so called, 6 vaog, was con- 
structed of white marble, was higher than the court of the priests, 
and was approached by an ascent of twelve steps. The porch of 
the Sanctuary or pronaos was an hundred cubits high, and as many 
broad. The open space, which served as an entrance into it, and 
which was destitute of folds or door of any sort, because, as Jose- 
phus informs us, it was a symbol of the visible heaven, was seventy 
cubits high and twenty five broad. 

The interiour of the Porch was ninety cubits high, fifty from 
North to South, and twenty from East to West ; so that on the 
North and South, there was room for recesses or chambers of almost 
twenty cubits in extent. 

The entrance, which opened into the Sanctuary, was fifty-five 
cubits high and sixteen broad. Over it was the figure of a vine in 
gold of the size of a man, and loaded with golden clusters. This 
entrance was closed by an embroidered veil, Josephus, Jewish 
War, V. 5, 4. Antiquities. XV. 11, 3. It was in the Porch of the 
Temple, that Judas cast down his thirty pieces of silver, Matt. 27: 

The Sanctuary itself was twenty cubits broad, sixty long, 
and sixty high. It was surrounded on three sides, with a struc- 
ture, three stories high, making an altitude of forty cubits. It 
equalled the Porch or ngovctog pronaos, in breadth, into the two 
chambers of which, there was an entrance from it. On the flat 
roof of the Sanctuary were erected long, sharp rods of iron, covered 
with gold, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 5 — 6. 

From the Sanctuary, which, as has been remarked, was sixty 
cubits high, although only twenty broad, we enter the sanc- 
tissimum or Holy of holies, which was twenty cubits in length, 
twenty broad, and twenty high, so that there were two stories 



above, each of twenty cubits. In the Sanctuary, was the golden 
candlestick, the golden table, and the altar of incense, but in the 
most Holy place, there was nothing deposited. The walls within 
and without, we are under the necessity of supposing, were covered 
with gold ; and it was separated from the Sanctuary by an embroid- 
ered veil, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 5. 

§ 344. Origin of Synagogues. 

Although the sacrifices could not be offered, except in the 
Tabernacle or the Temple, all the other exercises of religion were 
restricted to no particular place. Accordingly we find, that the 
praises of God were sung, at a very ancient period, in the Schools 
of the prophets, and those, who felt any particular interest in reli- 
gion, were assembled by the Seers, on the Sabbath, and the New- 
moons, for prayers and religious instruction, 1 Sam. 10: 5 — 11. 19: 
18—24. 2 K. 4: 23. 

During the Babylonish Captivity, the Jews, who were then de- 
prived of their customary religious privileges, were wont to collect 
around some prophet or other pious man, who taught them and 
their children in religion, exhorted to good conduct, and read out 
of the sacred Books, Ezek. 14: 1. 20: I. Dan. 6: 11. compare Neh. 
8: 18. These assemblies or meetings became, in progress of time, 
fixed to certain places, and a regular order was observed in them. 
Such was the origin of Synagogues. 

§ 345. Of the Structure, etc. of Synagogues. 

In speaking of Synagogues, it is worthy to be noticed, that 
there is nothing said in respect to the existence of such buildings 
in Palestine, during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. They were, 
therefore, first erected under the Maccabean princes, and not long 
after were much multiplied ; but in foreign countries, they were 
much more ancient, Josephus, Jewish War, VII. 3, 3. 

Whether this statement be true beyond a question, or whether 
some be inclined to make an objection to it, it is, nevertheless, 
certain, that, in the time of the Apostles, there were Synagogues, 
wherever there were Jews. They were built in imitation of the 
Temple of Jerusa